Indiana News

Citizens Weigh in on Transit Debate

10/3/2013


(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.

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