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Transit rally at Statehouse Thursday morning

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 23, 2013) – The public is invited to learn more about the plan to pay for mass transit in central Indiana during a rally at the Statehouse at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Transit Day will also include a presentation from speakers in support of the mass transit plan as well as meetings with lawmakers about moving the measure forward.

“It’s an opportunity for transit advocates and transit supporters to come together at the statehouse, meet with each other and learn a little bit more about transit in Indiana, and most importantly meet with their legislators and share how important better transit funding and service is,” said Kim Irwin, executive director of Indiana Citizens Alliance for Transit.

There are currently two transit bills, one in the House and one in the Senate. While the bills are similar, the senate version is most likely to be heard first and move to the next step, said Irwin.

“It gets into the details of what that tax would look like, what that governance structure would look like, ” Irwin said.

Senate Bill 176 lays out ways for the five counties included in the current mass transit plan to fund transit in their communities. Marion, Johnson, Delaware, Hamilton and Madison counties are included in the bill. The bill provides a funding structure including public transportation fares, an income tax increase and a corporate income tax increase. Voters in each community would decide on the tax increases through a referendum.

Irwin said a hearing on Senate Bill 176 could happen as early as Tuesday.