The IndyGo Board of Directors has selected Inez Evans as the organization’s next president and chief executive officer. Evans, who currently serves as chief operating officer for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in California, will begin her new role in  August. She will succeed Michael Terry, who in January announced plans to step down from the position. IndyGo Board Chair Juan Gonzalez calls Evans "an ideal fit to lead the organization during a period of considerable growth."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Evans said she is looking to jump into the role as IndyGo continues plans for several major projects, including the Red Line.

"IndyGo has a great team there and a great infrastructure internally, great partnerships externally with the city and city council and has built great relationships with the community," said Evans. "I know one of the things that we do plan to do as we begin to look forward the next phase of our projects, the Purple Line, we plan to do some listening tours and to reflect and see what things we did well, what we could improve upon so we make the next project even more successful than the Red Line is going to be."

Having 25 years of experience with transit organizations throughout the country, Evans says it is very important for a city the size of Indianapolis to have a robust transit system.

"If you look at the statistics nationwide, communities are telling transit systems, their telling their city that a frequent network grid-type of system is really how you bridge the gap between accessibility. It changes the demographics when it comes to economic equity, things of that nature. So, when I look at the reports that the city council has put forth, having IndyGo embrace a frequent grid network is going to be essential in bridging those gaps and breaking down those barriers for the citizens of Indianapolis."

Evans joined the Santa Clara VTA in 2014 as its chief of staff and was promoted to COO one year later. During her tenure, she was responsible overseeing several departments outside of operations, including risk management, service development and community relations, among others. 

"This position is critical to the development of Indianapolis as a world-class city," Gonzalez said in a news release. "Inez possesses a diverse professional background with the ability to offer and weigh several different perspectives. IndyGo has ambitious plans, and we believe Inez is the right person to lead our organization toward an exciting future."

Evans says she plans to spend several weeks working with Terry and the IndyGo board as she starts in Indianapolis. "Mike is very integral and he just has a lot of information and I"m just grateful that he’s willing to stick around while I transition into my new role."

IndyGo is in the midst of the first phase of its massive Red Line project. The 13.1-mile stretch, which will run from Indy’s Broad Ripple neighborhood to the University of Indianapolis on the south side, is slated for completion later this summer. 

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