Hamilton County Express to lower fees

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Hamilton County Express has a fleet of 22 vehicles. (Submitted photo)

Hamilton County Express is making one-ride trips more affordable.

The fare to ride will be lowered from $5 to $3 per one-way trip, effective Jan. 1. A 10-ride pass for $30 also will be available, but the one-month pass for unlimited rides, which was offered for $55, will be discontinued. The student discount also will be eliminated.

The public transportation-by-reservation service is managed by Noblesville-based Janus Developmental Services, a nonprofit agency providing programs and services to adults with developmental disabilities. The service was started in cooperation with INDOT and Hamilton County in 2007.

“When we are charging $5 per one-way trip, and you are using it go to the grocery store once a week, a $10 round trip is pretty burdensome,” said Christy Campoll, Janus’ vice president of transportation.

Campoll said HCE wanted to have a more affordable service for basic needs like grocery shopping or going to a medical appointment.

“We experienced such an increase in demand for rides that people would purchase the unlimited rides pass and our schedule would be too busy to supply their rides (in a month),” Campoll said. “This way, if you purchase a bus pass, you are paying per trip for a pass that doesn’t expire. So, if we can’t do some of the trips you need, you’ll be able to have that pass when we can do your trips. It will be more beneficial to a greater number of people.”

Due to the increased demand, approximately 9 percent of requests were declined because of full schedules

“Each month we service about 330 unique riders each month,” Campoll said. “We provide about 5,500 one-way trips per month.”

In 2016, HCE furnished more than 58,000 one-way trips.

“Sixty-eight percent of our riders report having a disability,” Campoll said.

HCE proves origin to destination rides anywhere in Hamilton County. There also are five IndyGo bus stops along 82nd Street and 86th Street, which allows transfers from for riders needing to travel between Hamilton and Marion County.

The service is supported by a federal public transit matching grant. Matching funds are provided by Hamilton County and the State of Indiana.

To request a ride on HCE, call 317-773-8781 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Limited service also is available from 7 a.m, to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Rides can be requested up to two weeks in advance, with a 24-hour advance notice requirement.

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