Indiana News

Young Professionals' Art-Themed Transit Rally Too Late to Save Bill

Senate GOP opposition means plan will likely go to summer study panel

4/24/2013


Members of Indy Future add their transit route "wish list" strings to a city map. (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)

Mass transit supporters are turning to art to try to sway legislative opinion -- but the move comes as the transit effort enters its death throes in this year's session.

Listen:

14 students and young professionals with the transit group IndyFuture began work at the statehouse on a hand-drawn map of Indianapolis, with strings connecting where they live to the places they'd like to be able to reach through mass transit. The placard's been moved to City Market for passersby to add their own strings.

Grace Baranowski says the issue's especially important to young adults like her. She says young professionals want to live in cities with easily navigated and well-connected neighborhoods.

But Baranowski says final exams at Indianapolis colleges held down turnout. And even a big turnout likely wouldn't have saved a last-ditch attempt by transit group Indy Connect to revive the bill. The group had proposed the legislature at least endorse the concept of a Marion-Hamilton County transit improvement plan, with approval for a tax referendum waiting till next year. But Indianapolis Senator Pat Miller confirms Senate Republicans will insist on a more in-depth study of the transit plan and how to fund it.

Representative Jerry Torr (R-Carmel), who authored the bill to authorize the referendum, complains legislators have studied transit repeatedly, but acknowledges the Senate's opposition leaves him no choice but to go along.

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