On Wednesday, I attended the Transit Day Rally. It was interesting to feel the energy inside the State House, as the confident group convened in a hall on the 2nd floor of the building. The leaders of the event were careful in pointing out that this was the largest groundswell of support that transit has found at the state level, and that we needed to keep pushing forward.
As luck would have it, Wednesday was also the day when the House Ways and Means Committee convened to discuss House Bill 1011, so I headed up there at 11:00 am. The previous hearing cleared out, and the opportunity presented itself to actually sit in the room during the transit discussion. So I did:
After about an hour of mostly supportive comments from the committee, the bill came up for a vote, and passed 20-2. That was a larger margin than I was expecting, and speaks well for transit moving forward.
After a quick lunch, I walked up to the Senate Chamber to see if I could meet with my Senator, Scott Schneider. I have gathered that he is a bit of a transit skeptic, so this event was a good opportunity to meet with him and speak to why I am a supporter. Senator Scheinder was in another committee, so I left a note at his office. It was surprising how easy it was to enter the Senate Chamber door after I mentioned that I would like to speak with my Senator, and I encourage others to do the same.
This is far from the last step in the process. The bill may receive further amendments along the way, and is scheduled for a vote in the State House on February 25th. After that, if it passes, it will move on to the Senate, where the future is a bit more murky for transit supporters. I hope others can join Urban Indy, ICAT, and many others in the support of this vital bill.