Buses, yes, but no rail

February 9, 2013

I support fully the improvement of the bus system in the metro area [Morris column, Jan. 28]. It is a necessity and the responsibility of government to provide access to those who need this service efficiently and cost effectively.

I would support a tax increase to provide this, hopefully with more flexible routes that meet the needs of riders, which might include express buses and express bus lanes.

However, I adamantly am against a fixed-rail system. The reported cost analysis repeatedly does not support this for central Indiana—in fact, data cannot support it on a cost basis for practically any city. Furthermore, a fixed system does not allow for population migration or changing needs.

To have an effective bus system people will use requires access to bus lines. Huge areas of the city (typically those outside the old city limits prior to Unigov) have no sidewalks to allow pedestrians a means to get to the bus stop safely. This is a huge deterrent and needs to be addressed as part of the bus improvement if it is to be successful. It is unfortunate that some of that money spent on bike lanes was not spent on pedestrians.

Suzanne Combs

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