STATEHOUSE — A bill before your state lawmakers could bring construction plans for the Blue Line and Purple Line to a halt.
House Bill 1279 is a bill that divvies out funding for local transportation projects. An amendment added to the bill by Indianapolis Republican State Rep. Aaron Freeman stands to withhold money from IndyGo if they don’t meet certain requirements. The bill would cut the amount of money IndyGo gets from the state by 10-percent.
“The amendment doesn’t say we’re going to withhold all of it. It doesn’t say we are shutting IndyGo down. It says we’re going to withhold 10-percent,” Freeman tells WISH-TV. “That they need to have some skin in the game.”
Freeman added that another goal of the amendment is to spark a more in-depth conversation on whether or not rapid transit bus systems like the Red Line are sustainable in Marion County.
IndyGo CEO Inez Evans said the bus service could lose from $5 million-$6 million per year and that the cut in funding might put plans for the Blue and Purple Lines in jeopardy.
“It does have the great potential to stop those things,” Evans said. “A significant amount of the investment we’re making is not only from IndyGo’s funds, but it’s also from the federal government. They are supplying 50% of our funding.”
Freeman said the bill is supposed to hold IndyGo accountable.
“Current law, right now, today, requires IndyGo to raise 10-percent of their funds through private services. Not fares, not grants, not tax revenue,” Freeman said. “They failed to do so.”
The bill passed the Senate this week by a 43-7 vote, but Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), who authored the original bill, says he’s concerned cutting funding would jeopardize IndyGo bond payments. A negotiating panel of two House members and two senators will try to work out a deal.
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