...than the third paragraph of the current front page IBJ story headed "Tax increase for transit looks poised for passage." The words there raise a very serious question about the real direction the transit program will probably take. Referring to the passage of the proposed tax, we’re told:
"That would enable the city’s transit system to buy more buses, hire more drivers, increase the frequency of pickups, and expand planned rapid-transit routes." (Our emphasis.)
Reams of paper have been used covering the need for people to be able to use the system to get around town. With most of it we have agreed. We have seen maps with lines spread all over the city, presumably representing the projected grid to provide that needed transportation.
But every time we see specific wording, it’s all about the "rapid-transit" lines. The quote above speaks of more buses, drivers and increased frequency without ever mentioning where, and in what quantity, these factors will apply.
Financially speaking for instance, how many of these "more" buses will be the huge, electric machines which will never operate realistically on regular routes? And how many of those "more" drivers will be limited to those "rapid" routes?
To the contrary, the final words of the paragraph refer to expansion of the questionable "rapid-transit" approach. Before giving the public specifics about new or regular extended routes, we’re already being warned about throwing money away on "expanding" that boondoggle. Are we to expect that ultimately, the entire system is projected to be the equivalent of rapid transit?
Despite all the hype and claims to the opposite about public clamor for the tax, we repeat that a 6 to 4 vote ratio is nowhere near a mandate when considering the public steamroller supporting approval which took place.
Shouldn’t we have better answers as to why the straight line through the center of the city is absolutely the highest and first priority? Shouldn’t we know how much of the new revenue will be used to operate and to "expand" the Red Line?
Maybe the most pointed question of all would the be an honest examination of why the free-spending Carmel municipal government is refusing to support even the one part of the whole deal most beneficial to them!
Why does the construction of multiple roundabouts have a higher priority than "more, better and faster" bus service? Is that an indication that hundreds of millions of Indianapolis tax dollars subsidizing parking garages has a wider impact than public transit devotees will recognize or admit?
This not the time for the CCC to enact a tax increase for a massive project which is not being presented realistically to the taxpayer.