(STATEHOUSE) - Negotiators have reached agreement on a central Indiana mass transit bill, setting the stage for final votes Thursday in the House and Senate.
The bill authorizes referenda in Marion County and five others on whether to use local income taxes to finance a major expansion of the IndyGo bus system. The bill bans any light rail development, at the insistence of Senate Republicans.
Legislators gave up on trying to require corporate contributions toward the cost, instead encouraging the transit authority to seek those contributions in the form of advertising, bus-pass purchases, or assistance in building new bus stops.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said before the deal was announced that getting any form of transit expansion before the voters would be a win. He's repeatedly said mass transit is critical to the city's continued growth.
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