Leaders of central Indiana cities, towns back transit bill

Bill would boost bus service, add commuter line

INDIANAPOLIS - The leaders of 18 central Indiana cities and towns have formed a coalition that's pushing a bill which would boost bus service and add a commuter rail line.

The mass transit bill died in the last legislative session, but Central Indiana Transit Task Force Executive Director Ron Gifford tells the Indianapolis Business Journal he thinks it has a stronger chance this time around as more Republican lawmakers come aboard.

The bill would create a nine-county transit district and allow ballot questions in Marion and Hamilton counties on whether to raise local income taxes.

Those taxes would help fund a proposed $1.3 billion plan that calls for a commuter rail line from Noblesville to downtown Indianapolis and doubling bus service in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

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