For immediate release: Apr 29, 2007
Posted by: [s25]
Contact: Peg McLeish
Phone: 317-232-9507

Lanane's legislation for mass transit studies sent to governor

Lanane's legislation for mass transit studies sent to governor

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:                                                                                     Media Contact:

April 29, 2007                                                                                                    Peg McLeish, 317-232-9507

                                                                                                                        Jason Tomcsi, 317-232-9496

 

 

Lanane’s legislation for mass transit studies sent to governor

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS – The General Assembly sent a bill to the governor on Sunday evening that calls for a series of studies on rail systems, mass transit and transportation alternatives in Indiana. State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson), author of Engrossed Senate Bill (ESB) 105, said he hopes the bill initiates serious discussion and consideration of mass transit options for Central Indiana and other metropolitan areas throughout the state.

 

Lanane’s legislation directs the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to conduct a feasibility study regarding implementation of a commuter rail system with service from Muncie to Indianapolis. The study would address the feasibility and implementation of stops along the rail system in the growing communities of Anderson, Noblesville and Fishers, as well as other potential stops. It would also look at potential routes and the estimated costs associated with implementing a rail system. Potential usage of such a system would also be studied.

 

“Mass transit has been extremely effective at reducing transportation costs, pollution and traffic congestion in other areas of the country,” said Lanane. “There is no reason to believe that would not be the case in Indiana, particularly with a transportation alternative for commuters who travel along the Muncie, Anderson and Indianapolis corridor.”

 

INDOT would also be required to commission six regional mass transit studies, which must be completed no later than January 1, 2009. One of the six studies will address the role that mass transportation plays in promoting economic growth, improving the environment, and sustaining the quality of life in Central Indiana, including Madison and Delaware counties.

 

A joint legislative study committee would be created to review the INDOT studies and mass transit initiatives in other states. The committee will issue a report and make recommendations regarding several topics, including the need to use mass transit to ease traffic congestion and the availability of federal programs that could supplement state funding of future mass transit initiatives.

 

The bill creates a legislative review committee for proposals concerning the Illiana Expressway and requires INDOT to perform an independent study concerning the proposed expressway regarding whether it is needed and where it would be located.

 

Language originally contained in Senate Bill 14 was inserted into the bill during the conference committee negotiations. The new language authorizes INDOT to enter into a public-private agreement to construct a passenger or freight railroad system, provided that the General Assembly reviews and appropriates funds for the projects.

 

The bill was sponsored by Representative Terri Austin (D-Anderson) and received final approval in the House today by a vote of 95-3. The Senate voted unanimously to send the bill to the governor for his signature or veto.

 

For more information on Senator Lanane, his legislative agenda or other business before the Indiana State Senate, please visit his website at www.senatedemocrats.IN.gov.

 

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