February 14, 2013

Indiana's House Committee passes mass transit bill

Indiana's House Ways and Means Committee voted 20-2 in favor of House Bill 1011, which seeks a public referendum for voters to decide on future funding of mass transit in central Indiana.

“Having the support from members of the House Ways and Means Committee is crucial to this debate on the sustainability of expanded mass transit in central Indiana,” said Ron Gifford, executive director, Indy Connect Now, a state coalition supporting mass transit. “Fiscal responsibility was one of our top priorities when developing the Indy Connect plan, and our financial model is built on conservative assumptions about revenues and expenses. The bipartisan support from committee members today demonstrates that these legislators believe we have presented a credible and sustainable transit plan.”

HB-1011 was filed by State Representative Jerry Torr (R-Carmel). The bill received nearly unanimous support by the House Roads and Transportation Committee on January 30, voting in favor 11-1.

As public support has grown, more than 8,000 Hoosiers have signed petitions, encouraging lawmakers to authorize the referendum to place  transit on the ballot so local voters can decide on how to fund an expanded mass transit system. A voter referendum is needed to approve local funding in Marion and Hamilton counties before expansion of the system can begin. Completion of the Indy Connect plan is expected by 2025.

“The people of central Indiana know what is at stake here, and they’re making their voices heard. We urge them to continue to reach out to state lawmakers as the bill now moves to the House floor for final consideration there,” said Gifford.

Supporters of expanded mass transit are encouraged to visit the Indy Connect Now website, and sign a petition that will be shared with state lawmakers.


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