By NUVO Editors
On November 8, nearly 60 percent of Marion County voters in Indiana supported the referendum for dedicated county income tax for improved public transit. A majority of voters supported it in 79 percent of precincts across Marion County as well. This investment promises the Indianapolis Public Transit Corporation (IndyGo) can deliver greater connectivity to jobs, educational opportunities and better healthcare for all Marion County residents.
The broad, bi-partisan support for improved transportation systems demonstrates that our communities are ready to invest in making our region more competitive, resilient and sustainable.
As the transit proposal has now been introduced to the City-County Council, we call on them to fully fund the Marion County Transit Plan that voters have approved so our city can benefit from improved transit as soon as possible.
A ‘yes’ vote for funding the Marion County Transit Plan is a vote for growth, and giving local workers and families a better opportunity to reach the middle class through education and employment. It’s a vote to bring new investment to struggling neighborhoods, and make our city even more appealing to new talent and business. It’s a vote to increase home and property values allowing our communities to thrive and grow.
The proposed Marion County Transit Plan expands high-frequency bus service on every route, every day with extended service hours to better connect people, employers and neighborhoods. The expanded system would put three times more residents and double the jobs within a five-minute walk of a frequent bus route, with weekend and crosstown service that creates shorter trips for the average rider.
Better service connects people and jobs, and creates self-sufficiency. By putting more options for employment, education, healthcare, groceries and other basic needs within reach, transit creates upward mobility and independence for those who rely on it most.
Expanded transit with more frequent service can empower people, give companies a competitive edge, even transform neighborhoods – but these benefits come with a budget. The referendum authorized by the City-County Council creates a dedicated revenue stream for transit. This allows for consistent funds to be used for transit improvements only. It is the step the City-County Council needs to take to keep Indianapolis and our region moving forward.
With the overwhelming approval of its constituents, we again urge the City-County Council to enact the dedicated funding stream and take Indianapolis to another level.
Michael Huber, President and CEO, Indy Chamber
Steve Sullivan, President and CEO, MIBOR REALTOR® Association
Orion Bell, President and CEO, CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions
Molly Chavers, Executive Director, IndyHub
Marlene Dotson, President and CEO, Indiana Latino Institute
Leigh Riley Evans, Executive Director, Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation
Tedd Grain, Deputy Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Kim Irwin, Executive Director, Indiana Citizens’ Alliance for Transit/Health by Design
Tim Maloney, State Policy Director, Hoosier Environmental Council
Michael McKillip, Executive Director, Midtown Indianapolis, Inc.
Nasser H. Paydar, Chancellor, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Shoshanna Spector, Executive Director, Indianapolis Congregation Action Network
Josephine Rogers Smith, Executive Director- Martindale Brightwood Community
Eric Strickland, Executive Director, Riley Area Development Corporation
Paul Smith, President, Southeast Neighborhood Development
Joe Bowling, Director, East Washington Street Partnership – Englewood Community
Patrick Tamm, President and CEO, Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association
James Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, John H. Boner Neighborhood Center
Javier Barrera, Executive Director, Latino Youth Collective
Adairius Gardner, Director of Government Affairs, IU Health
Sarah Waddle, State Director, AARP Indiana
Margaret Banning, Executive Director, Irvington Development Organization
Tony Mason, President and CEO, Indianapolis Urban League
Michael Osborne, President, Near North Development Corporation