Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Private attention to mass transit

January 29, 2009
For another example of why Indianapolis works better than a lot of other places, read IBJ reporter Chris Oâ??Malleyâ??s story about yet another look at mass transit in central Indiana.

Mass transit has been studied to death even as drivers spend more and more time stuck in traffic. The existing system, if it can be called that, amounts to little more than a few bus routes.

Now the corporate side of the regionâ??s vaunted public-private partnership is stepping in. Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, the chief executives who have launched the life sciences initiative among other economic development projects, is joining the Indianapolis chamber and other groups to look at the issue from a cost-benefit perspective. The task force is being led by Al Hubbard, a Harvard MBA who was an economic adviser to former President George W. Bush.

The study planned by the new Central Indiana Transit Task Force proposes to bring a hard-headed, spreadsheet-driven approach to mass transit that makes economic sense. And organizers suggest the result wonâ??t necessarily be recommendations for more roads.

Thatâ??s because the study will take into account the increasingly expensive cushions companies build into delivery schedules and commuters need to get to work.

The study also will look to tie in Lafayette, Bloomington and Muncie, all of which are important to continued development of the region.

What are your thoughts? Will this increased interest from the private sector finally result in a workable mass transit system?
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