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House advances central Indiana transit measure

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The Indiana House has signed off on a measure that public transportation advocates hope could lead to expanded bus service in central Indiana and potentially pay for a new rail line from Noblesville to downtown Indianapolis.

Supporters of the mass-transit bill said Monday that the measure is needed to connect workers to available jobs and improve the Indianapolis metro region's image among young professionals. Opponents say it would add another tax and create potentially wasteful projects.

The measure would allow Marion County and its surrounding "doughnut" counties to ask voters to approve a new income tax through a referendum to pay for the new transit services. The House voted 56-39 Monday to night to approve the transportation measure.

Public transportation advocates are pushing a $1.3 billion expansion of the local transit system that would initially raise income taxes in Marion and Hamilton County by 0.3 percent.

An amended version of the bill would let rural townships opt out of both voting on whether to authorize the taxes or paying the taxes.


 

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  • Demopublicans!
    Huh. I thought the Republicans were in charge. They're sure acting like Democrats.
  • Correct Info
    Spider and Steve, The system is currently set up to be used as a no choice ridership system. This is due to a lack of funding and priority. Recent changes include an additional crosstown route along 86th street and the new plan would feature crosstown rapid transit lines n/s and e/w. Steve, Not all of the counties will be included in this plan. The current legislation is for Marion and Hamilton only. Marion can approve the plan and construct w/o any other county approval or funding. outside counties need Marion to approve their plan to approve a plan of their own. The taxing would only occur within the county where the plan provides service and where the citizens voted for it. It is essentially a pay to play process. The current bill features an amendment that would let rural townships opt out.
  • Just Say "NO"
    So there's a plan to expand IndyGo, which has never been able to figure out how to operate at a profit and can't even figure out how to properly serve just Indianapolis in a timely manner, into Hamilton County and elsewhere, and (using the bulk of the 1.3 billion) begin rail service between downtown and Noblesville, and ALL the 'donut' counties are to be taxed? To pay for what will obviously benefit Hamilton County the most (if there is any real 'benefit' at all)?? I would think every county except Hamilton would reject this very easily. Heck, I'm in Hamilton County and I reject it! If "public transportation advocates", "young professionals" and downtown businesses want to expand mass transit let them raise the money to do it themselves and leave my taxes alone. I'll be voting "NO" on this failure waiting to happen.
  • Spider web plan
    Wake up people! IndyGo still has not comprehended that everybody in the Indy Metro area does not work/commute to downtown. Review of their Master Plan confirms they are still going down the road of the old spider web approach to public transit. I am yet to see any attempt to interconnect all the surrounding suburbs without having to go downtown to change buses to get to another part of town. Case-in-point: 11.4 mile/20 minute commute from the near Southside to the near Westside per IndyGo’s current online route planner goes like this: 0.9 mile walk followed by a serpentine bus route to downtown followed by a 2 block walk followed by a semi direct bus route to the Westside for a total route time of 1 hour 54 minutes. Remember, it’s only an 11.4 mile/20 minute drive to do the same commute. Reviewing IndyGo’s master plan yet again, does this change at all? NO! So why would anybody in their right mind vote to impose yet more income taxes to better serve a vast minority of commuters who work downtown?
  • Better Details on the Plan
    This is great news for Indy Connect and Indianapolis in general, check out this video synopsis of the transit plan, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcDAgWWawd8

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