Indiana lawmakers consider mass transit funding bill

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Mass transit is on the agenda at the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday.

The Indiana House Roads and Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 1011, which seeks a public referendum for voters to decide on how to fund mass transit in central Indiana.

Indy Connect Now, a coalition of community leaders and others, has launched an ad campaign in support of better mass transit options, but funding a plan is the big question. The group says over 7,800 Hoosiers have signed a petition asking lawmakers to authorize the referendum.

The hearing will be held at 3:30 pm in the House chambers.

Indy Connect rolled out a proposal for a central Indiana transit system earlier this month. See the plan here.

The "red line" route would run from Greenwood through Indianapolis to Carmel. The plan calls for "rapid transit" but leaves it open for bus or rail.

The "purple line" would run from Lafayette Square to Lawrence, mostly along 38th Street.

The "orange line" would run from Carmel to the University of Indianapolis via Fountain Square.

The "blue line" would run from the airport through Indianapolis out to Cumberland, and the "green line" would run from downtown Indianapolis northeast to Noblesville via Castleton Square. 

There had been earlier discussions about a light rail system from Fishers to Greenwood, but Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers says they're now focused on more cost-effective buses.

If lawmakers allow a referendum on mass transit funding, Marion County and surrounding counties could have public votes on this as soon as 2014.