A coalition of state and local leaders unveiled a master plan to dramatically expand mass transit in central Indiana. Central Indiana Corporate Partnership CEO Mark Miles unveiled the $1.3 billion first phase of the plan. It aims to double bus service in Marion County, extend it into Hamilton County, create light rail service and link all of Hendricks and Johnson counties within 10 years.
Phase one would cost $136 million a year upon completion in 2021. Officials say the plan needs income tax revenue, a governing body and referendums to garner taxpayer support. They say the plan is crucial to future economic development, job growth and traffic congestion given urban sprawl.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says they do not expect much opposition.
“The people who are generally against it tend to be my age and older,” he says. “When they say I don‘t need it, I’d say, go ask your children, go ask your children!”
Supporters are now calling on the Indiana General Assembly to help local communities authorize referendums on the issue for November 2012.