Citizens Weigh in on Transit Debate
(WIBC.com file photo: Eric Berman)
After hearing from mayors, business leaders and transportation planners, a legislative committee reviewing a mass transit plan is turning more of its attention to the general public.
Instead of experts, citizens dominated the agenda at the latest transit study committee hearing. A local Tea Party leader and former City-County Councillor Bill Schneider voiced skepticism about plans to expand the IndyGo bus system. Schneider argues claims that a transit system would boost economic development are a sham -- he says development will go where there's a market, regardless of mass transit. And he questions whether Indy has enough commuters to justify the transit lines.
Greg Meyer of Indianapolis says it's well worth a tax hike if it leads to more accessible bus lines. But while legislators have been more skeptical of a possible light rail line, Stephen Avery of Geist argues they've got it backwards -- he questions whether buses alone will attract enough riders.
Central Indiana mayors want legislative authorization for a referendum next November on whether to allow a tax hike to pay for a transit upgrade.