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We could Solve this thing over Dinner

I don’t think that it is a secret to any Urban Indy writer or reader that I haveĀ invested A LOT of personal (and family) time over the last 3 years taking photos, writing, travelling to various cities with better transit systems including Portland, DC, Charlotte and Chicago and dragging my family along the way for “another one of dad’s transit trips!”.

Full disclosure, my family has also had the privilege of hosting regional transit officials of the highest order over delicious meals prepared by my wife which include but are not limited to lasagna, pasta and with plenty of red wine, and local beer. I would like to think that the Urban Indy group has had a pretty good say in what has become Indy Connect. While we are not 100% pleased, we have been heard and the fact that we were able to usher busy transit officials into the living room of our homes for good food and beer says something about what people of Indianapolis are capable of getting done.

So it comes with utter disappointment that as tomorrow is coming on the road ahead and the possible death of HB1073 (Public Mass Transit), that I offer up the same invitation to any Indiana House Ways & Means Committee member. Come over to my home. I’ve already asked my wife Casey if she would be willing to have any of you, and Mr Espich, I am notably asking you, to come on over. Have a glass of wine and a plate of good food and lets talk transit. Maybe the appeal of good will and citizens willing to go the extra mile will instill a moment of bi-partisan cooperation or willingness to give just a little so that our little slice of the state can decide on our own whether or not we want improved transit.

Tonight is still open. My wife says I need to clean up the house a little, but otherwise, we are ready and willing to host once again for the sake of moving the needle.

9 Responses to “ “We could Solve this thing over Dinner”

  1. Casey says:

    Fighting for the right to vote down to the last minute! So proud.

  2. Ben Houle says:

    If only there were 200,000 of us willing to do the same, Curt, maybe they would listen.

  3. Joe Smoker says:

    Nice work Curt! You have a growing crew of support behind you and we all know the energy and effort you bring to the table. If this meeting does take place , to quote Jaws….sort of, “I think we’re gonna need a bigger house”

  4. Jeffrey C says:

    This reminds me of the “host a healthcare conversation” that the Obama administration facilitated individuals doing in their own homes. Maybe the same approach could help transit in Indy.

  5. P. Dewult says:

    End the rail portion of this. The rail isn’t needed. Instead, fund two or three non-stop buses from Carmel, Noblesville, Fishers, and Greenwood. Also fund a few from the far reaches of Marion County to downtown Indy. I know rail is the Zeus of transit gods, but deal with rail later on down the road. This will significantly reduce the tax revenue needed. The focus here should be a much more robust bus system, with a few fingers into surrounding municipalities, not a fixed rail, billion dollar train just because it is transit cool. Have those municipalities on their own vote for this, no state law needed. Those who live outside the taxing districts can pay a higher fee to use the system.

    • Matt Stone says:

      While I think your overall idea (concentrate on bus, ditch the rail), there is little that the central Indiana counties can do on their own as far as actually raising taxes. I’m not entirely certain that all the donut counties even have a COIT and while you can, independently (via the county’s/city’s legislative body) re-assign how COIT is distributed, you can’t increase it.

      As the tax system stands now, any additional tax increases outside of administrative fees applied by townships, cities, and counties will have to go through the legislature in some form or another.

  6. Chris says:

    Unfortunately, it will have to be a dinner served next year. The bill died in committee. I hope advocates of mass transit can build on the work done this year to get a bill passed next year by the General Assembly.

    • yo says:

      is it true that there is no session next year… will we have to wait even while longer or hold a special election?

      • Matt Stone says:

        The Indiana legislature meets every year. In even number years, it’s a “short” session from January to March. In odd number years, it’s a “long” session from January to April. The “long” session is also typically when the two year budget is made.

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