Supporters of mass transit in Central Indiana are hoping to build public support with a campaign as the state legislature reexamines the issue.
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. Marion and Hamilton counties would likely be the first to hold referendums on the idea.
The $1.2 billion proposal would double the size of IndyGo bus service, add a rail line from Noblesville to Indianapolis and add five “Bus Rapid Transit” lines in the area. More counties could join the effort as it develops. The project would be eligible for federal funding.
A similar proposal fizzled in the House during last year’s session.
Supporters will begin airing TV and radio ads to support the proposal. They’ll also hold meetings and an online seminar.
The plan would add three rapid transit lines color-coded red, blue and green. The red line would run north and south from Carmel through Indianapolis to Greenwood. The blue line would go east-west on Washington Street from Cumberland to the Indianapolis International Airport. The green line would go from downtown Indianapolis to Noblesville along the Nickel Plate rail corridor.
The Indy Connect initiative is a partnership of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, IndyGo and the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority. Local mayors, including Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear and Westfield Mayor Andy Cook, have voiced their support for the initiative.