Wednesday, August 22, 2012

IndyGo Ends Express Bus Service To Airport

The Star's Jon Murray has a story about IndyGo's decision to end its express bus service from the downtown hotels to the airport. IndyGo used to receive a $3 million federal grant to pay for the subsidized cost of the Green Line, which costs $7 per trip. Without the subsidy, the service cost about $700,000 for about 170,000 riders annually. The Green Line is primarily used by visitors to the city who stay in the hotels downtown. My question is why the CIB, which is all about promoting the convention business, would not step up to the plate and cover the annual cost as an added benefit for convention visitors. From Murray's story:
As Joe Wescott mulled how to get to Downtown Indianapolis from the airport’s terminal Tuesday, a security guard’s suggestion made his choice easy.
He boarded IndyGo’s Green Line express bus, paying $7.
“It’s a marvelous service,” said Wescott, 53, who arrived early from Raleigh, N.C., for the American Legion’s national convention that begins Friday. Offering a more comfortable and quicker ride than a regular IndyGo bus, it saved him from shelling out $40 for a cab.
Fear not, Murray tells us. The express bus line will be back soon enough if proponents of a $1.3 billion mass transit gain approval for their lofty plans.
Advocates pushing that plan say a more robust transit system, which they hope to put before voters next year, should include fast and inexpensive public transit to Indianapolis International Airport.
The Central Indiana Transit Task Force struck out in the General Assembly this year but will return early next year to press its case for authorizing a referendum. Voters in Marion and Hamilton counties then would decide whether to boost income taxes by three-tenths of 1 percent to pay for it.
If the plan were to win voters’ approval, the 10-year program would double IndyGo bus service and would add train service from Noblesville to Downtown Indianapolis.
Don't even think you're going to get voters to approve an income tax to pay for mass transit. And $1.3 billion won't come close to covering the cost of their mass transit plan. That's a mere down payment.

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