Transit Referendum Clears Another Hurdle
But arguments over price tag await in next committee hearing
Supporters of a Central Indiana mass transit referendum have won another round at the statehouse, but have more hurdles to clear.
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.