Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

February 15, 2013

Mass transit referendum moves closer to reality

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

“I’ve made no secret to the fact that this may be about talent attraction here,” he said. “We have to create the type of city that younger people want to live in, so businesses can hire them.”

Ballard also appealed to residents by noting “some working people have to take a day off to go to the doctor because of transportation. Think about that. We take an hour or two. They have to take a whole day off. That has to stop. I hear young people tell me all the time, ‘I want to move to the city, but I don’t want to have to have a car.’”

Ballard said increased mass transit funding would attract talent, businesses, and a better quality of life.

“I think that’s part of it,” added Torr about youth and mass transit. “I think it’s a generational thing here and younger people are looking at alternatives. If you can sit on a bus for 45 minutes and have WiFi access for your iPad rather than 45 minutes trapped in a car where all you can do is listen to a radio, this brings that different dynamic.”

“Having the support of the House Ways and Means Committee is crucial to this debate on the sustainability of expanded mass transit in central Indiana,” said Ron Gifford, executive director for Indy Connect Now. “Fiscal responsibility was one of our top priorities when developing the Indy Connect plan, and our financial model is built on conservative assumptions about revenues and expenses.”

Torr said that in spite of the overwhelming support of the committee and those at the rally, he has heard some blow-back from citizens saying that increasing mass transit is not a viable option due to cost.

“You know there are a lot of folks who don’t agree. You do have to pay for it, and there are a lot of folks who are part of the car culture that don’t see themselves particularly using (mass transit).”

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