A new mass transit system for Indy could mean more jobs and better events

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Lawmakers are weighing the idea of a mass transit system for Central Indiana.

On Wednesday, the Indiana House Roads and Transportation Committee held a hearing on the mass transit idea. A new bill wants voters to decide how to pay for the system.

The plan seeks to double bus services, add express bus routes and create rapid transit corridors. It also proposes a tax of 0.3 percent for residents of Marion and Hamilton Counties.

“We don’t do a very good job of connecting people to available jobs, to cultural events, to sporting venues, to education,” said Mayor Greg Ballard, “and I would argue that is the missing link toward making us an economic powerhouse.”

The first phase of the system is expected to cost $1.3 billion and could appear on the ballot as early as November 2014.