House committee passes Moed’s “light rail” legislation

January 24, 2018 Justin Moed

INDIANAPOLIS – Mass transit options for the city of Indianapolis would expand under legislation authored by State Representative Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis) that was approved today by the Indiana House Roads & Transportation Committee.

House Bill 1080 repeals a provision of current state law that prevented Indianapolis from exploring the options of implementing light rail as a mass transit option.

“This is no longer Naptown,” Rep. Moed said. “Downtown Indy has grown. It’s alive. There are new restaurants, things to do. This a growing city people are looking at moving to. We just need to make sure the city of Indianapolis and central Indiana have all the tools they need to grow.”

Rep. Moed emphasized that his measure would not force Indianapolis to use a rail system, but rather open up added possibilities for transportation. He noted that construction already has been started on another such option, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line that would stretch from Broad Ripple to the University of Indianapolis on the south side.

“As time has gone by, attitudes toward transit have started to change,” Rep. Moed noted. “It has been demonstrated in many other cities that residents enjoy having a diverse set of transit options that can enable them to move quickly and efficiently from their homes to where they work without the hassles of traffic jams and other inconveniences that can come from automobile travel.

“It should also be mentioned that these types of transit options are among the so-called ‘quality of life’ issues that are considered by large companies when determining where to locate operations,” he continued. “These corporations are extremely interested in helping their employees get to and from work with a minimum of turbulence, and light rail is becoming a preferred mode of travel.

“As we all know, Indianapolis is being considered for large expansions by companies like Amazon and Salesforce,” Rep. Moed said. “Having light rail as an option for transportation can demonstrate our area’s willingness to recognize the changing needs of the growth industries that can take us into the future. Would it be the deciding factor? Probably not, but it is nice to show that we understand what these companies and their workers want, and we can go the extra mile to provide it. That is the true value of legislation like House Bill 1080.”

The measure, co-authored by Representative Jerry Torr (R-Carmel), now moves to the full House for consideration.