Moed’s repeal of light rail project ban passes through committee

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INDIANAPOLIS – Legislation authored by Representative Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis) that would pave the way for Marion County to implement a light rail project passed through the Indiana House Roads and Transportation Committee today with a vote of 10-2.

House Bill 1365 would repeal a ban on the purchase, lease, acquisition, construction, or operation of a light rail project in various Indiana counties. Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, and Marion counties are currently prohibited from developing light rail projects.

Light rail projects were originally banned in 2014 as part of legislation signed by Governor Mike Pence that was supposed to provide funding for mass transit to Central Indiana.

“This bill gives the citizens of Indianapolis the opportunity to choose what form of mass transit is best suited for their community,” Moed said. “It is critical that we look to the future when developing our transportation and infrastructure. As we plan to attract more businesses to Indianapolis, communities in and around the city will continue to expand, and people will want an easy and reliable method of transportation, beyond driving a car, to and from the downtown area.”

Legislation to repeal the ban on light rail in central Indiana was originally introduced by Moed in 2018 and received overwhelming support by House members, but the proposal was rejected in the Indiana Senate. In 2018, the light rail bill was considered to be a driving force behind efforts to attract an Amazon headquarters in Indiana. Although Amazon decided to locate its new headquarters elsewhere, the opportunity for more public transportation is expected to help attract other businesses to central Indiana.

House Bill 1365 now advances to the full House for consideration.

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