Mass transit system possibly coming to Indy


When you think of great cities such as Chicago and New York, one of the first things that comes to mind is the great transportation systems that those cities offer.

Public buses and Subways make getting from place to place much easier and quicker, allowing workers to get to work on time and for tourists to see much more of the city.

A bill that is currently facing the Indiana House of Representatives is one that could possibly make Indiana more like the two great cities mentioned above. The bill, which offers a plan for a mass transit system, is a $1.3 billion dollar expansion of the Indy-Go system.

It would likely double the amount of Indy-Go buses, along with building a people mover from Noblesville to downtown Indy.

Many questions surround this plan.

How will Indiana be able to afford it? Will it be beneficial to our city? How will it affect Hoosiers who use our public transportation system every day?

Jon Easter, head of the school’s WBDG radio station, is concerned about income taxes being raised by .3 percent per household to support this plan.

“I think it depends on how beneficial this new system would be, because if we have a bus system that’s easier to use than now, I would be willing to use the bus, and just ride to work. Right now, our public transportation system doesn’t cater to people who need to get from Point A to Point B”, Easter said.

“It just takes too long to get from place to place. But, if we were to build a light rail system like the one in Chicago, I would totally be for an increase in taxes to support that. Chicago and New York are great for that [public transportation], and it would be great for Indy. It would be an expensive system, but it would have great benefits,” Easter said.

Mayor Greg Ballard certainly has the same frame of mind on this issue. He has stated that he supports the bill because he thinks that it would be good for local and state economic development and attract businesses to Indy.

There is no doubt that there is a link between public transportation and employment.  The Brookings Institute wrote that public transit helps individuals get to work, therefor helping employment.

According to, “As states and regions strive to put Americans back to work, policy makers should be careful not to sever the transportation lifelines between workers and jobs.”

Many people use or know someone who uses public transportation every day, and know how important transportation systems are for a city. So, that being said, do the benefits of a mass transit system outweigh the costs?

English teacher and debate coach Samantha O’Conner thinks that the 1.3 billion dollars that will be used for this plan could not be used more efficiently for something else.

“I have family members who use public transportation and it’s nearly impossible because of the lack of buses going to suburban areas”, she said.

Although many people feel that a public transportation system would be great for Indiana, there are just as many who don’t view it as a necessity.

“When I went to Washington DC, the public transportation system was great. We got so far across town in such a short time. It was much cheaper than a cab. But I don’t think it would be worth it in Indiana. Our city is pretty easy to navigate round, especially downtown. I don’t think Indiana really needs more buses,” junior Katie Brown said.

Public transportation has helped Chicago and New York greatly and there is the possibility that it could do the same for Indy. If this bill does pass through the House of Representatives, there is no doubt that it will affect the lives of many Hoosiers. Whether it affects how you get to work or how much you pay in taxes, the Mass Transit Plan will certainly have a huge impact on all of us.

Do not expect to see these changes anytime soon, though. If this bill does pass, the new system is not expected to be complete until the year 2025.

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