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Indy Mass Transit Plan Moves Forward; Funding Still In Question

The president of a panel that’s been studying mass transit between Indianapolis and its northern suburbs expects to settle on a route and a type of transportation by the end of the year. But it will take longer to come up with a plan to pay for it.

Hamilton County commissioner Christine Altman says after three years, the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority is nearing a decision on one of four routes connecting Noblesville to downtown Indianapolis and IUPUI. She expects either an express bus line or some form of fixed-guideway system, such as light rail. But Altman says the federal government can only be expected to put up half the cost of the project.

Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening joined Altman before a legislative study committee, and urged Hoosiers not to shy away from a regional sales tax to fund commuter rail. Altman says a regional sales or income tax is under consideration, but says CIRTA is far from committing to such a plan. State legislators would have to authorize any new tax.

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