NewsPublic AffairsGovernment / February 4, 2014

Transit Bill Picks Up Steam

A bill to expand mass transit in Central Indiana is closer to becoming reality.

The state Senate voted 28-20 in favor of the legislation, which now heads to the House.

Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority Chair Christine Altman says the Senate’s vote is an important step forward.

"This is the first time we have cleared the Senate with respect to this type of legislation," said Altman.  "Although, it may not be all that we had hoped, we are very optimistic."

The bill would allow residents to vote on whether or not to pay for establishing or improving transit in their county.

Opponents argue the cost is an unfair burden, particularly on those who won’t use the system. But, Altman thinks everyone benefits from the system.

"The benefit will be reduced congestion. The benefit will be that others are now able to be productive and be working citizens and be adding to the tax base.  The benefit will be a reduction of part of the property tax burdens with transit oriented development and revitalization of neighborhoods," she said.

If approved in the House and signed by the Governor, voters will decide the issue through a referendum.



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