State lawmakers shot down an effort to restrict IndyGo’s Blue Line this week. The move represents the latest attempt to derail the advancement of bus rapid transit in Indianapolis.
Plans for the Blue Line, including service to the Indianapolis International Airport, have been in the works for years. Over the past few legislative sessions, some Republican lawmakers moved to block it, often criticizing dedicated bus lanes.
A last minute amendment to an unrelated education bill sought to restrict lane changes in exchange for the suspension of IndyGo funding requirements.
Democratic Representative Carey Hamilton said this is a local issue and Marion County voters approved bus improvement efforts.
“For us to come back in the final hour here, on an education bill before ways and means, is just now how this is supposed to work and I’m very disappointed,” Hamilton said.
Republican Representative Bob Behning helped craft the amendment and said he’d been in talks with IndyGo to find a lasting solution.
“So we’re no longer debating this issue, it has become a problem for all of us,” Behning said.
Numerous transit and business leaders rearranged schedules to testify against the last minute amendment, some testimony was given before the amendment was tabled.