IUPUI Commuter Information

 

Central Indiana Commuter Services

 

General Information - (For more information, see the brochure we’ve provided.)

 

IUPUI is an official partner employer of Central Indiana Commuter Services (CICS – called “kicks”).  They try to promote alternatives to driving alone.  Alternatives include:

 

  • Car pooling
  • Van pooling
  • Riding the bus
  • Walking
  • Bicycling

 

Why use an alternative mode of transportation?

 

  • It cuts down on air pollution
  • It can save you money
  • It can be fun to ride with others and enjoy the conversation
  • If you bike or walk, you can get more exercise and be healthier
  • It cuts down on traffic congestion
  • It can decrease your stress

 

CICS services are for employers and employees in the following counties:

 

Marion                                                Johnson

Madison                                             Boone

Morgan                                               Hamilton

Shelby                                                Hancock

Hendricks

 

By visiting www.327ride.net our staff, faculty and students can access:

 

  • A car pool matching service – You decide whether or not to call those on the list                    you receive
  • Information about van pools
  • IndyGo route and bus riding information – You can also call 635-3344 and they can help you plan out your route. 
  • A commuter cost calculator - Figure out what the real cost of driving is

 

CICS Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program

 

Faculty and staff who regularly walk, bike, take mass transit, car pool or van pool to work and who register with CICS qualify for CICS’s Emergency Ride Home program.  Details are at www.327ride.net under the “Commuter” section. 

 

 

Upcoming Meetings about Van Pools:

 

There are already van pools (basically an enlarged car pool with an outside contractor providing the van that one of the poolers drives) from Bloomington and Cloverdale/Greencastle, but there seems to be interest in starting another van pool from Bloomington (leaving slightly later in the morning than the current one) and one from the Terre Haute area.  Other information about van pools can be found by going to www.327ride.net and clicking on “What’s New.”  If interested in van pooling, contact Ruth Reiman of Central Indiana Commuter Services (CICS) at 327-7433.  CICS is holding several van pool meetings over the next several weeks to inform commuters about prospective/existing vanpools.  All these meetings are open to the public.   

 

Hendricks County Vanpool Meeting - Wednesday, October 18, 7:00 p.m., Hendricks Co. 4H Fairgrounds/Conference Complex, Classroom A; 955 E. Main St., Danville, IN 

 

Morgan County Vanpool Meeting - Wednesday, November 8, 6:30 p.m., Martinsville Public Library, 110 S. Jefferson St.

 

Take a Ride on the Reading Red Line

 

The Red Line Circulator is a FREE bus that runs through the IUPUI campus and connects to downtown Indy.  See the map I provided for a map of the stops.  The Red Line Circulator runs every 15 minutes from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday.  It also connects into the Blue Line which is the free downtown circulator.  Just think of the possibilities now that parking is not a concern!  On your lunch hour, you could:

 

  • Pick up some chocolates at Circle Center Mall
  • Go to the Wednesday farmer’s market at City Market
  • Lunch with a bunch of coworkers at a downtown restaurant
  • Visit a museum
  • Meander around University Park with its lovely fountains
  • Just take a walk
  • And much more

 

IU’s Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit

Did you realize that IU employees (not students) who have costs associated with using mass transit or van pooling can reduce their income taxes by using the Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit?  It’s true.  This does NOT pay for the actual cost of your bus ticket, but taking advantage of this pre-tax plan DOES save you money by lowering the amount of federal, state and local income taxes you pay. 

Here’s an illustration based on an annual salary of $34,000.  Tax savings will depend on one’s individual tax rate – the lower the income, the lower rate of tax you’re paying so the lower the savings, but it still can be a sizable savings. 

 

 

Not Using Pre-Tax Benefit

Using Pre-Tax Benefit

 

 

 

Cost of bus passes for one year

$480

$480

Income taxes paid on that $480

$167

$ 0

Amount you must earn to pay for bus passes

$647

$480

Amount of savings

$0

$167

 

So, if you make $34,000 a year and your bus passes cost you $480 per year, you could get $167 worth of tax savings.  That would be about $41 every three months (since you file for the reimbursement quarterly). 

 

Every three months of the calendar year, you can fill out the Pre-tax Mass Transit Expense Claim Form, attach the receipts for whatever mode of mass transportation you use and send it to University Human Resource Services; 400 E. Seventh Street, Poplars E165; Bloomington, IN  47405-3409.  Once the claim is approved, the amount of the credit will be reflected on your paycheck.  Van poolers can send in receipts for both their share of the van lease and the gas cost.  If your driver doesn’t have a receipt to give you, contact Ruth Reiman at 327-7433. 

 

Visit http://www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/benefits/commuting.html and carefully read all the details, then click on the item under “Forms” in the menu on the left to get the reimbursement form.

 

These mass transit pre-tax savings are not related to the IU Tax Saver Benefit (TSB) plan.

 

Note:  At IUPUI, if you pay for parking by payroll deduction, the university automatically takes that out pre-tax (which saves you money).  You do not need to complete any additional forms to make that happen.

 

Other Related Information

 

Biking

 

Visit the Central Indiana Bicycling Association’s Web site at www.cibaride.org .  Bicyclists offer their personal bicycle commuting routes. 

 

The city’s bike route map is available online by doing a search using Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization and then, when the MPO’s Web site comes up, click on “maps” in bar at top, then choose “general maps.”   

 

The city and state are both working to provide more greenways, BikePorts, bike parking information and events.  Check out http://inbikeport.org/index.cfm .

 

 

 

If you have a particular interest in bicycling, let me (mstimmin@iupui.edu or 274-5466) know so I can keep you abreast of opportunities and see if there is interest in an IUPUI Biking Interest Group.

Indiana Greenways

 

The Greenways Foundation here in Indiana has been busy collaborating with city, county and state government, various interest groups (bicyclists, etc.) and others to build a series of greenways.  These greenways will connect the downtown Indy Cultural Trail to trails all over Indiana.  Of course, this is all still in various phases of development, but if you want to keep up on the latest, visit  http://www.indygreenways.org, http://www.indianatrails.org/9-county_overview.htm , www.farmheritagetrail.org  and http://indianatrails.org/mailman/listinfo/list_indianatrails.org .  

 

Parking

 

Donald Shoup, a UCLA faculty member and expert on parking and why alternatives to driving alone are so important, visited Indianapolis earlier this year.  His Web site is full of good research on the subject (you can skip the first few items in the list that are links to books for sale).  Visit it at http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/  He has some good articles that you can read on information that applies specifically to campuses.

 

Bus Riders

 

The two IUPUI Campus Card Services offices sell IndyGo passes.

 

IUPUI Sustainability Initiative – Transportation Subcommittee

 

There is a Transportation Subcommittee that is part of the IUPUI Sustainability Initiative.  It’s a fairly new group.  If you are interested in attending the Transportation Subcommittee meetings, contact Steven Jones (jonessg@iupui.edu ).

 

How to Keep Up on IUPUI Commuter Information

 

If you would like to be kept up to date on biking, buses, car/van pooling and the like, you might want to be on the Work/Life e-newsletter list.  To be added, contact Maggie Stimming at mstimmin@iupui.edu.  You can also contact Maggie for more copies of the Red Line map and CICS brochures.