Indiana News

Transit Supporters Seek to Revive Referendum Proposal

Backers propose tabling rail line to focus on IndyGo bus improvements

4/18/2013

Supporters of a central Indiana mass transit plan aren't giving up on gaining legislative approval this year.

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The Senate killed a proposal to authorize a referendum in Marion and Hamilton Counties, in favor of a summer study committee to review the transit plan. Some supporters note that still leaves time to approve the referendum next year before the hoped-for vote in November. But Carmel Representative Jerry Torr says it's important to end the uncertainty now -- he says advocates would largely have to put their campaign on hold until they have legislative approval, which would hamper their chances of winning voter approval.

Torr's trying to revive the bill by limiting the referendum to bus service. Under his suggested compromise, the more controversial piece of the plan, a rail line between Indy and Noblesville, would require separate legislative approval.

The referendum would authorize a local income tax increase to finance transit improvements.

Torr and Indianapolis Democrat Greg Porter will serve as the House's negotiators. Once the Senate names its conferees, they'll have until the end of the session April 29 to reach agreement.

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