Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

November 8, 2012

Connecting Central Indiana

Ehren Bingaman seeks better living through mass transit

(Continued)

"Someone living at 34th and High School, who works at FedEx, would need 90 minutes to get to work," he said of someone using IndyGo. "With this plan, we're trying to bring more convenience to the ride."

CIRTA's already introduced more bus routes that offer point A to point B pickup and drop-off. There also are bus rapid transit lines now that can control traffic signals to avoid delays and offer more runs and stops at key destination points. It's like rail service at more than half the cost, though CIRTA still hopes for rail transit one day, including to neighboring counties.

"We've seen in other communities how transit provides more options," Bingaman said.

It saves on gas and wear and tear to one's personal vehicle. Fewer drivers also means less traffic - and better air quality - along with safer roads. Bingaman says the idea isn't to take away anyone's car or commuting freedom, but to offer other modes of transport. Changing technology and trends are leading in the direction of mass transit anyway.

"I'd much rather have (commuters) addicted to their iPhones and riding a bus than addicted to their iPhone and driving a car," Bingaman said.

There's also an economic advantage to this kind of infrastructure. Other communities that have made the investment have seen businesses and neighborhoods grow around transit stops. Bingaman says any city considered world class offers this amenity.

"Central Indiana is in competition for jobs and talent," he said. "We have to maintain a competitive edge going forward. Many of our peers are making this investment and taking the lead in attracting the kinds of workers we want to retain. They're starting to reap the economic rewards."

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