IndyGo announced July 9 it has selected Inez Evans as the organization’s new president and CEO. Evans, currently chief operating officer of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in California, will replace current IndyGo President and CEO Michael Terry in August.
Evans has more than 25 years of experience in transportation and said in an interview with the Recorder she sees where her areas of expertise can line up with IndyGo’s future. That includes looking at transportation as more than just buses. Evans said that means looking at mobility more generally with things such as sidewalks and bike lanes.
Evans said Indianapolis is one of the few cities in America that has “truly embraced transportation,” and that’s part of why she wanted to leave her post at the VTA to come to a mid-size city in the Midwest. Marion County residents voted in 2016 to give dedicated funds to IndyGo, a luxury the agency didn’t have in prior years, and the organization will transition its bus routes to a more efficient grid system by this fall.
Evans will join IndyGo at a busy time. IndyGo’s Red Line is scheduled to open Sept. 1, the Purple Line is expected to open in 2022, and the Blue Line is expected to open in 2025. (IndyGo announced earlier in July that the timelines for the Purple and Blue lines, originally planned to be open in 2021 and 2022, respectively, were pushed back.)
Evans said she may start doing listening sessions with the community to learn what the wants and needs are in Indianapolis, but with experience in implementing similar rapid transit lines, she said she doesn’t plan on reshaping those projects once she starts.
“I need to follow the plan that’s been outlined and what’s been entrusted to us by the community,” she said.
When asked what improvements or changes she would like to make, Evans didn’t offer specifics, saying she wants to first learn from the community and understand the vision of IndyGo’s board and city officials.
“My priority is really listening to our customers, our elected officials, our employees, our neighbors,” Evans said. “… That’s important before going in and just making changes.”
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.