Rendering of BRT route

Indy Connect moves forward to educate the public, townships about mass transit

Originally posted to on June 29, 2016 by Anna Skinner.

Clay and Washington Townships met June 28 to vote on whether or not to add a mass transit funding referendum to Nov. 8 ballots. Whereas the Washington Township board unanimously voted in favor of having the referendum, the Clay Township board decided not to vote on the proposal, therefore preventing the referendum from being added to ballots. The Clay Township board agreed to delay voting on the matter until 2018, at the earliest.

This referendum would have allowed voters to decide on a tax increase that would help fund a mass transit system, the Red Line.

“Our Washington Township board unanimously approved the referendum on the ballot and letting the voters decide what they want,” Washington Township Trustee Danielle Carey Tolan said. “(The board) made it very clear they weren’t committing to any plans, but they felt the voters should decide. Since the Clay Township board decided not to vote on the proposal last night, ours had a continuance so that our referendum is null and void now.”

Board member Matt Snyder said the focus for area transit planners should be on developing Marion County’s plan. If Marion County voters decide in November to move forward with transit, he said, the board might reconsider its position in 2018. He said the groundwork has been laid for a transit plan in Hamilton County but the current plan needs more work.

Board member Mary Eckard said voters might not be receptive to another tax increase this year. She said any plan in the future should be a countywide initiative, not one targeting only Carmel and Westfield.

Clay Township’s decision means Washington Township will be prohibited from holding a referendum this year, despite that board’s vote Tuesday morning. Only townships contiguous to a county or township holding a referendum may hold one, under state law. Washington Township does not border Marion County.

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