Sustainable Transportation

Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority Offers Commuter Connect Program

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You can’t talk about sustainability without mentioning transportation. They go together – and it’s not just a conversation about electric vehicles, it is about developing strategies and implementing programs that directly lead to fewer cars on the roads. That is where the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA) comes in.CIRTA

“We want people and business leaders to think differently about the ways we commute,” Jen Gebhard says, CIRTA’s Executive Director. “We exist to help people across the region get to work in ways other than driving alone in a vehicle.”

The average central Indiana commuter drives 40.8 miles to work and spends 50.6 minutes in their vehicle. In just one day of telecommuting, carpooling, vanpooling or taking the bus, biking, or walking to work, that same commuter prevents 32 pounds of pollution from entering the atmosphere. What many central Indiana residents may not realize is that CIRTA offers free and low-cost resources to help them find alternative transit solutions; solutions that help reduce stress, save money, minimize wear and tear on vehicles and help improve our shared environment.

CIRTA’s Commuter Connect program provides commuters access to a free database for a personalized carpool match, or, if there is demand, it can work with employers to set up a cost-effective vanpool, partially subsidized by CIRTA, for their employees with others who live and work in the same area. Commuter Connect also works with schools and school districts to help families start carpooling.

Once per year, CIRTA channels its passion for encouraging commuters to travel together into one rockstar event. Car Free Day is CIRTAcelebrated nationally, and each year CIRTA hosts festivities downtown to celebrate. In 2022, Mayor Joe Hogsett rode his bike to the celebration at City Market and officially proclaimed September 22 as Car Free Day in Indianapolis.

The regional aspect of CIRTA’s advocacy also positions it as an advocate for workforce access.

“Some of the biggest challenges employers face is getting their employees to work and we are here to remove that barrier,” Gebhard says. “From wanting to save money to not having a reliable method of transit, there are a myriad of reasons folks need our services.”

Beyond subsidized vanpools, the Commuter Connect program helps employers provide effective transportation benefits for their staff at little-to-no cost. One thing is for sure, CIRTA is actively and consistently working to find new and creative ways to eliminate transportation barriers for Hoosiers while making the world a greener place for all.

The CIRTA Board of Directors includes government and business leaders across from central Indiana. To learn more and to access services, visit

The CIRTA team smiles with Mayor Hogsett following the September 22 Car Free Day proclamation ceremony.

CIRTA Executive Director Jen Gebhard with on of CIRTA’s Commuter Connect vans at IMMI, a participating employer with Commuter Connect.

CIRTA Outreach Representative Alli Steinke connects with an interested commuter on alternate transit solutions available via Commuter Connect.CIRTA

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