Backers of mass transit in Central Indiana say it will improve public safety

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As a bill to allow voters to cast ballots on improving mass transit moves through the Statehouse, supporters of the legislation said it could improve public safety.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry joined with mass transit backers to claim an improved bus system from Noblesville to Greenwood would not only bring economic benefits to the metro area, but also make neighborhoods more secure.

“The development of effective transportation has proven to be a deterrent to criminal activity,” said Curry at a news conference where he was flanked by other supporters. “That is, the development which occurs, the improvement of the surrounding area as is, again, our ability to get individuals where they need to be in our criminal justice system.”

Curry said that mass transit becomes a public safety issues when it comes to giving victims, families and even defendants convenient access to courts, the prosecutor’s office and probation officials.

“Part of our focus is how many obstacles can we remove to an individual’s productive re-entry into our community and transportation is certainly one component of that as well.”

The price of a gallon of gasoline inched up to $3.95 a gallon and that has supporters of the legislation, and bus riders without cars, thinking about improving the metro area’s bus system.

“We are concerned about how people will move about when gas prices are $4 to $5 a gallon,” said Kas Vargo of Bindford Redevelopment and Growth, Inc., which represents the northeast corridor where an expanded mass transit system would be built. “Good public transit will be critical for getting people to work and essential public services.”

Gerald Cole was waiting for a bus to pick him up in front of the federal courthouse on Ohio Street.

“I’m going to have to get my schooling where it’s on the bus schedule, the bus line,” Cole said. “Get the job where it’s on the bus line, where it’s convenient and it’s not late and it’s going to have me late and jeopardize me to lose a job.”

Other passengers said an improved system could knit together the community and families.

“I think it would be better for the children,” said Monteith Beverly, who said he rides the bus between three jobs. “It would definitely help the parents who are together, who aren’t together, who depend on the city transit to bring the children where they could go the direction they should go.”

12 comments

  • Guest.

    Wow, they are digging deep to push this mass transit thing aren't they? So now trains will improve public safety? Maybe they should look to other cities like Atlanta, they average one murder per week on their trains. That's only 52 homicides per year, no big deal……..

    • jjj

      Yeah I notice you don't have a rebuttal either. Hard to argue with common sense.

      Curry may be selling, but I'm not buying.

  • Gary

    A big push to saddle Marion and Hamilton county residents with another tax……follow the money to see who is really behind this and benefiting from it! Improvements to current roads, parking, etc.would be a better way to spend infra structure funds. Makes about as much sense as the green bike lanes on Allisonville Rd.

  • Guest1

    House Bill 1011 would allow voters in a 10-county region around Indianapolis to raise their income taxes by three-tenths of one percent to fund transit

  • Guest

    How can they keep a straight face and tell us this will improve public safety so soon after the Castleton Mall fiasco? Mass transit is just that. Mass transit. It more than likely will allow the thugs easier access to our neighborhoods.

  • Please read

    All lies! Improve public safety!? What a joke! Letting politicians continue to make these decision… Raise taxes… Take away jobs is only hurting US! Why do we continue to let the political THUGS keep taking more from the common person and give us nothing in return? You keep pushing the average joe in a corner, take away his rights, take away his jobs (fiscal days, layoffs etc) and expect him to give them more. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Public safety is horrible right now because people arent educated. People are hungry. People are poor and violence is sarting to be the only resort! If your child looked at you and cried because they were hungry and you couldnt provide for them after numerious HONEST attempts, what would you do?? You would do what it takes to feed your kid. I work in public safety for indianapolis and it is at its worst right now. These politicians are NOT looking after your best interest. Trust me. I truely feel that in my lifetime you will see some type of rioting or revolt from us common people. It is coming. Talk to any fireman or cop that works the city and they will tell you!

  • RaptorFortyFive

    Unbelievable. If these politicians want a shiny new train set to play with they should use their own money to pay for it. The Bozos (no disrespect to the clown profession) will never be the ones to use the trains and neither will anyone else. Buses make a lot more sense as they at least have the flexibility to change routes as demand shifts. Buying rights of way and putting rails in place is very expensive and inflexible. The taxpayers need to remember who votes for this project and rid themselves of these people at the next election. This thing should have to be put into a referendum so the public could be represented in the decision making process. What BS.

    • tim

      Okay, I read the article again and saw no mention of a train. Just a nice picture of one. The plan calls for "BUS rapid transit" or light rail on five routes but most likely the only route with light rail possible is the northeast corridor and that is looking less and less likely. http://www.indyconnectnow.com/pages/map/

  • Steve

    You have noted very interesting details ! ps decent site. "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it." by Mark Twain.

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