Indiana News

Transit Referendum Clears Another Hurdle

But arguments over price tag await in next committee hearing

3/20/2013

Supporters of a Central Indiana mass transit referendum have won another round at the statehouse, but have more hurdles to clear.

Listen:

The Senate Local Government Committee voted 7-2 to let Marion and Hamilton County voters decide whether to authorize an income tax hike to expand Indy's bus system and perhaps launch rail service between Indy and Noblesville.

Supporters say a better transit system is critical to economic development -- they argue Indianapolis stands nearly alone as a major metropolitan area. Backers say there's been a generational shift from people settling in the city where they find a job, to people moving to cities they like and then seeking work. They say transit is one of the key factors to attract them.

Committee chairman Randy Head (R-Logansport) limited testimony to the policy aspects of transit. Opponents who charge it would cost too much will get a fuller -- and potentially more sympathetic --hearing in front of the Senate's Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee before it reaches the Senate floor.

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