We respectfully disagree with Current in Carmel’s From the Backshop column on March 26, “Mass transit: ‘No’ to a Tax Increase,” and particularly take issue with the statement, “We get that mass transit could become an economic development engine … as long as it’s not on the taxpayers’ backs.”
First, no transit systems (including roads) operate at a profit. Our roads, bridges, pothole fixes and the fuel we put in our cars are not without taxpayer support. The investment in a transit system is an investment in economic development, quality of life and in ensuring our region remains a strong choice for business development and relocation.
Second, the bill under consideration will provide citizens with a choice – the opportunity to vote for public transit via referendum. Why would we oppose the public’s right to choose?
Finally, getting people to jobs is not “nonsense.” Not if you’re an employee trying to get or keep a job and have no transportation available. And not if you’re a company with open jobs and people anxious to fill them if they could get to you.
Whether we like it or not, any demographic study you choose will indicate that two large groups of people – both the baby boomers and those now entering the job market – no longer prefer their lives to be dictated by an automobile. The regions that respond to those needs will win new businesses and new residents and thrive. Those who refuse to be competitive will not. We have a choice, and choice is what this legislation is all about.
That’s why our chambers, as well as the Hamilton County Business Issues Committee, comprising all six chambers in the county, are supporting HB 1011.
Mo Merhoff, President, Carmel Chamber
Dan Canan, President, Fishers Chamber of Commerce
Sharon McMahon, President, Noblesville Chamber of Commerce
Julie Sole, Executive Director, Westfield Chamber of Commerce