IndyGo bus in the middle of Indianapolis street
IndyGo Bus

IndyGo Implementing New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy

IndyGo, the largest public transportation provider in Indiana, is executing a new diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy to build a greater sense of belonging for staff. The initiative, aptly named IndyGo DRIVE, is the brainchild of Lloyd Daley-Graham, IndyGo’s director of DEI.

“As I began in my initial role as diversity and inclusion and workforce development manager in May of 2021, I started by gaining a better understanding of where IndyGo was as it pertains to building belonging,” says Daley-Graham. “I focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. As my role evolved and I could devote more time to DEI work, I quickly realized IndyGo was engaging in a wealth of commendatory DEI initiatives. Still, there was an absence of an overall plan that focused on IndyGo-specific needs related to building belonging. There was no strategy to tie everything together and assess progress to ensure adequate and timely improvements. Thus, DRIVE was born, and the process to develop it included a climate survey, focus groups and think tanks.”

Daley-Graham says every employee should feel supported, cared for and valued. Three pillars guide this mission:

  • Education and Development: Equipping IndyGo’s workforce with the knowledge, skills and professional development opportunities to promote belonging at IndyGo and in the Indianapolis community.
  • Recruitment, Hiring and Retention: Enhancing the diversity and fulfillment of our team through intentional recruitment efforts and equitable, employee-centered practices.
  • Access, Advocacy and Assessment: Ensuring IndyGo provides innovative and gratifying accommodations as well as worthwhile communication channels, and continually evaluates progress toward an inclusive environment.

Daley-Graham says through the work of three pillar committees of approximately 10 IndyGo teammates, each from various departments, IndyGo DRIVE will tackle 57 goals over three years to build belonging at its agency. There is also a 10-person steering committee that oversees the entire process.

Pillar committees are responsible for the following:

  • Developing and implementing the goals outlined in the agency’s DEI strategic plan.
  • Identifying and recommending strategies to promote the goals of the DEI strategic plan.
  • Assessing the goals based on the metrics identified in the DEI strategic plan.
  • Raising awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives among teammates.
  • Serving as a resource for teammates on DEI matters.

“Members were selected based on their interest in DEI, commitment to the agency’s mission and ability to collaborate effectively,” Daley-Graham says. “There was also an overall goal to create diverse, well-represented IndyGo teams.”

Daley-Graham says the plan has the potential to benefit employees’ psychological safety, overall wellness, mental health, happiness, sense of self and more. More specifically, there are a great deal of tangible benefits, such as more opportunities for education, personal and professional development, standardizing processes to promote fairer practices, employee resource groups, recruitment strategies for minoritized populations, mentorship/leadership programs, policy and pay audits, and evaluating/addressing professional coach operators’ perceptions of safety.

IndyGo Red Line bus

“In turn, DRIVE creates a fulfilled workforce that is better able to serve the Indianapolis community,” Daley-Graham says. “As you increase the sense of belonging for any organization, you begin to reap the benefits of what you have sown. Retention increases, turnover/absenteeism decreases, productivity rises and engagement grows. These positive impacts will undoubtedly trickle down to Indy residents through improved service, fewer delays and issues, more responsiveness, better engagement and more innovative opportunities. Investing in our people is an investment in the future of our community.”

“Currently the Indy Pride Planning Committee commits a great deal of time and effort to prepare IndyGo to participate in Indy Pride,” he adds. “The committee acts as an affirming space for all individuals who participate, welcoming all identities to the table and hearing their input. It further provides an opportunity for all IndyGo employees to participate in one of the most thrilling LGBTQ+ experiences in the world, filled with education, entertainment, resources and love. Committee members and IndyGo volunteers regularly share how much this opportunity means to them and that nothing compares to IndyGo’s involvement in this endeavor. Additionally, the committee is responsible for the bus wrapped in a Pride theme that travels Indianapolis streets daily, spreading the good gay news and proudly celebrating all people. The committee will also transition into a more traditional employee resource group in the near future and branch out beyond Indy Pride.”

Celebrate Pride with Local Food

IndyGo held a kickoff event on April 19, and committees started meeting the following week. Thirty goals are being addressed in the first year. Work for the first year started in April 2024 and will be ongoing. Twenty goals for the second year are projected to start in June 2025, and seven goals for the third year will begin in June 2026.

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