SB 52 an existential threat to transit expansion

Posted on 01/16/24

Aging-in-place, economic development jeopardized by proposed legislation

The Indiana State Senate is considering a bill that drastically curtails a key transportation expansion project in Indianapolis.

Senate Bill 52 (SB 52) would prohibit the construction of dedicated bus lanes on the proposed and long-planned IndyGo Blue Line. This bus rapid transit project already spurred $399 million in economic development along the corridor, which stretches for 22 miles from Cumberland, Indiana all the way to the Indianapolis International Airport.

“SB 52 is an existential threat to the Blue Line,” AARP Indiana Legislative Director Ambre Marr said. “By prohibiting dedicated lanes, the Senate would also block IndyGo from receiving millions in federal funding, killing the project altogether.

“We ask the Senate Appropriations Committee to vote no on SB 52.”

IndyGo Red Line
Riders embark and disembark the Red Line, IndyGo's first bus rapid transit line.

This legislation is the latest attack in a years’-long war on transportation and the state’s largest transportation provider, IndyGo. The agency provides approximately 5.6 million rides per year.

A 2021 AARP survey found massive support for these transit upgrades.

Most older people nationwide (77 percent, according to an AARP survey), want to age in place, and adequate, reliable bus service can make staying in their homes more of a reality.

“Someone’s ability to stay in their homes should not be determined by their ability or desire to drive a car,” Marr said. “AARP Indiana strongly supports transit expansion, especially when it means people of all ages can get to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, and see friends and family more easily.”

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