Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is scheduled to appear at a rally Thursday where mass-transit supporters will unveil a new campaign to push for a voter referendum in central Indiana.
The campaign, Indy Connect Now, will urge state legislators to let residents in Marion and Hamilton county vote to decide whether they want to pay higher taxes to fund an expanded mass-transit system in the area.
Legislative approval for the referendum is a key early step in the proposed $1.3 billion, 10-year transit plan, which would expand bus service and add rail from Noblesville to downtown Indianapolis. Voters in those counties would have to approve a ballot issue to raise local income taxes by 0.2 percent.
A transit bill calling for a referendum died in the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee in late January by an 11-10 vote over right-to-work language in the bill.
Scheduled to join Ballard at the 1 p.m. rally in the Indianapolis Artsgarden is Westfield Mayor Andy Cook and Mark Miles, CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.