Indiana House Bill 1011 on public mass transportation moves forward to the General Assembly this week. Representative Torr (R-Carmel) authored the bill with bipartisan support from Representatives Pryor, Porter and Kirchhofer.
Residents of Marion and Hamilton Counties could decide via referendum: 1) should a metropolitan transit authority exist, and 2) how should public transportation be financed in metropolitan Indianapolis?
The bill articulates that this self-imposed county economic development income tax would match federal funds with the new authority administering them in compliance with federal and state regulations. Many local organizations are educating the public and advocating in favor of mass transit.
According to Indy Connect, a partnership of supporters are educating citizens, businesses, and regional organizations on the content and meaning of HB1011. These organizations dedicate efforts to improve and connect bike ways, streets and public transportation options in metropolitan Indianapolis. They include:
- Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) focuses on the planning, infrastructure and community impact of neighborhood bus stations. City agency.
- Central Indiana Regional Transit Authority (CIRTA) works with local and state government as well as businesses to increase quality transit options. Quasi-governmental organization.
- Indy Go provides public bus service primarily within Marion County. Public corporation.
Widespread advocacy has increased momentum. Indy Connect Now leads the charge favoring the referendum and acts as primary advocacy support. Additional advocates include:
- Indiana Citizens’ Alliance for Transit (iCAT) consists of businesses, community leaders, engaged citizens leading the grassroots mass transit movement. Advocacy organization.
- State and local elected officials including Mayor Greg Ballard. Government sectors.
- Associations including Irvington Development Organization Neighborhood and community development organizations.
If the referendum proceeds, the plan could expand bus service, provide five express transit lines, and link current cycling paths in Indianapolis.