Transit: The Ticket to Opportunity

Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Transit Expansion in Marion County

IndyCAN's transit-referendum poll resultsA mass-transit expansion referendum is set to go before voters in Marion County this November, and already, a poll shows 67% of local voters favor expanding transit, with only 24% opposed.

IndyCAN, a nonpartisan faith-based community organizing group headquartered in Indianapolis, commissioned the study earlier this summer. The results reveal a strikingly broad base of support for new investment in mass transit, with Indy voters across all walks of life eager to see the measure succeed.

Poll Highlights

  • 67% of area voters supported expanding mass transit, with only 24% opposed.
  • Double-digit majorities among Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters approve of the measure.
  • Support for the referendum is extremely broad. 

  • African-American voters support it 74%-20%, and white voters support it 68%-29%.
  • Voters of all age groups support the referendum as well. The highest support (71%-18%) comes from voters under 35. Voters 65-80, support the referendum almost two-to-one (58%-30%).


Download the poll-results infographic

Faith leaders say expanding transit is the right thing to do.

“The results are clear: Indy residents want to expand mass transit, and they want to do it for the right reasons: helping our neighbors and growing our city. Voting yes means more people will be able to get to work or school, so they can provide for their families. By investing in transit, we are investing in our neighbors, and giving them a chance to succeed.”

- Rev. Stephen Calsen, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal

“In an election year marked by negativity and division, it is refreshing to see Democrats and Republicans working together to help Indy succeed. Expanding mass transit is the right thing to do for our neighbors and the smart thing to do for our city.”

- Fr. John McCaslin, Pastor St. Anthony Catholic Church

“In the faith community we often talk about doing right by our neighbors - it’s rare that we get to put that to a vote.”

- Rev. Darren Cushman-Wood, Pastor North United Methodist Church

“Cities compete with each other for the best jobs and opportunities for their residents. Making smart investments in public transit now will help Indianapolis bring those opportunities home.”

- Rev. Richard Willoughby, Pastor Promise Land Christian Community Church

Support is about more than faster buses

Support for mass transit is more than just faster buses; it’s about building a region where everyone thrives. Similar programs in other cities have generated tens of thousands of jobs, and millions of dollars in new economic activity. The expansion program will build businesses; connect local residents to jobs, doctors, and education; and help to heal racially segregated access to opportunity in Indianapolis. 

Quick Facts

  • Our current bus system exacerbates already deep racial and economic disparities, isolating jobs from those who need them the most.
  • 1 in 9 Black residents compared to 1 in 33 white residents depends on transit to get to work.
  • Less than 17% of Indy workers can reach jobs within a 90-minute commute on public transit (Brookings, 2012).
  • Every $1 Billion invested in transit creates 49,000 good jobs.
  • Last year, 3% of every vote cast, over 10,000 voters, was an IndyCAN Prophetic Voter who pledged to act to hold candidates running for office accounable to IndyCAN's Opportunity Platform that includes transit equity.