Does Madison Need to Bring Back a Bus Route or Add Ridesharing?

March 7, 2018


A bus system hasn’t existed for several decades in Madison, Indiana and a modern ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft has never been there.

Recently, a public transit study has popped up as a sort of primer to see if the city is in need of such programs and businesses.

The Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program is awarding a $25,000 contract to the City of Madison to undertake a public transit study.

It seeks to identify the public’s demand for a fixed route bus system and ridesharing services in Jefferson County.

Students from Hanover College will be out at public locations the next few weeks to solicit survey responses and online surveys, such as the one you can link to below will be a big part of figuring this information out.

The Envision Jefferson County team cited transportation as a barrier to employment, access to health care and educational opportunities.

A survey was developed to examine whether these transportations may play a role in the future Madison and the surrounding area.

“Madison, Indiana is interested in finding out whether there is a public demand for public transit which could help build a stronger economy and provide another transportation link between downtown Madison and the hilltop.” said Andrew Forrester, Community Relations Director for the City of Madison. “We can do this by identifying the demand for transit services, along with its gaps and disconnects among members of the community.”

The City of Madison, in conjunction with the Purdue Center for Regional Development and the North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council, hopes that members of the public participate in an online survey which will determine the most popular routes and whether there is a willingness to pay for the additional transportation services.

The transportation study will gauge the public’s interest in six transportation scenarios.

Currently, Madison only uses the Catch-a-Ride program, which offers both a regular schedule between downtown and the hilltop, as well as on-demand service by appointment to help residents get from their home to another point. From 8AM to 4PM, Monday through Friday, buses leave the Comfort Station on Main Street and Wal-Mart/Kroger on the hilltop at the top of the hour and on the half hour. Drivers may make pick-ups and drop-offs in between stops and all ages and abilities are welcome, as long as they have exact change.  Their on-demand service is from 6AM to 6PM, daily. One can call 1-800-330-7603 to schedule a pick-up or drop-off that deviates from that schedule.

The public transit survey from Purdue for this study may be accessed via the below link and everyone is encouraged to participate:

The online survey should only take anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes.