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Indy council sends mass transit referendum to voters

May 9, 2016 | WRTV6| Link to Article

INDIANAPOLIS -- Voters will decide in November whether to approve a tax hike to expand mass transit in Marion County.

The Indianapolis City-County Council voted 18-6 Monday night to approve Proposition 145, which authorizes a public referendum on funding for mass transit in Marion County.

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The move comes at the local level after several failed attempts at the Indiana Statehouse to get mass transit funding passed.

The federal government is already directing $75 million to the construction of the Red Line Bus Rapid-Transit Program.

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While not all residents are happy – some who live along the proposed route worry it will increase congestion and eliminate already-scarce parking spots – the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce applauded the vote Monday.

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“This plan expands all-day bus service across Indianapolis to finally make transit a practical choice for getting to work and other daily errands for the average resident," the Chamber said in a statement Monday night. "It triples the population and doubles employment within a five-minute walk of high-frequency routes – by putting more jobs and options for education, food and healthcare within reach, transit delivers economic opportunity, independence and a better quality of life."

The decision will now go to voters to support – or not – in November.