EDITORIAL: New transit study focuses on return as well as cost

 IBJ Staff
February 13, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Editorial

Central Indiana is much better at churning out transportation studies than implementing a real transit system, but there’s reason to take seriously the report released Feb. 10 by the Central Indiana Transit Task Force.

Unlike its predecessors, the new study wasn’t the brainchild of environmentalists or people whose jobs revolve around promoting non-car travel. The task force was led by Allan Hubbard, co-founder of locally based acquisition firm E&A Industries and an economic adviser to both Bush administrations. The group also included representatives of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and Central Indiana Community Foundation.

The business-savvy group’s charge was to view transit through an economic lens. Its conclusion: A $6.7 billion, multi-modal system that would cost more than $100 million a year to operate would be worth the money.

The payoff, says the new report, would be a region better able to attract jobs, talent and investment. More specifically, a rail line from Fishers to Greenwood and an east-west transit system on or near Washington Street could be a magnet for developments worth billions of dollars.

The study’s findings aren’t groundbreaking. Most cities our size already have a transit system. Yes, such systems are expensive, but when implemented thoughtfully they can become an economic engine.

As the new report’s findings are vetted at a series of public forums over the next 10 months, most of the discussion will focus on the cost of a transit system and how to pay for it. That’s as it should be—but the potential return on investment should not be forgotten.

Stop ‘guns at work’

Bills that would prevent businesses from prohibiting guns on company property flew through the Indiana House and Senate last month, and that’s as far as they should go.

Gov. Mitch Daniels ought to step in with a veto.

The bills, which would prevent employers from prohibiting guns kept in vehicles on company property, passed overwhelmingly—41-9 in the Senate and 76-21 in the House. Daniels would risk a probable override if he were to put his prestige on the line with a veto. Yet, we hope he does.

Businesses concerned about guns as a threat to employee safety should be able to prohibit them on company property. The state shouldn’t usurp that authority because of pressure from the National Rifle Association, which asserts, among other things, that employees might need a gun for protection when traveling home through rough neighborhoods.

Legislators reluctant to dictate to businesses on the issue of smoking in the workplace seem all too eager to impose the government’s will in this case.•


To comment on either topic, write to ibjedit@ibj.com.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!