Wednesday, September 12, 2012

IndyGo's proposed budget open for public comment

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 6:43 PM

click to enlarge indygobus3.jpg

This is part of a series of stories by Kimmel, who's given up her car and is relying primarily on public transit.

Every August, this year included, the IndyGo budget cycle begins with the introduction of a proposed budget at a Board of Directors meeting.

IndyGo has a self-governing Board of Directors, but the City-County Council and the Council's Municipal Corporations Committee have "binding review, oversight and approvals required for IndyGo to receive local funds, used in the operating budget."

After the budget introduction, IndyGo always holds a public hearing for comments on the proposed budget, and the final step is approval by the IndyGo Board of Directors before it's handed off to the City-County Council Municipal Corporations Committee.

Local funds are only a fraction of IndyGo's operating budget, which also relies on federal assistance, state funds, passenger fares and a small figure of miscellaneous funds. Most of this revenue goes to pay for operating costs such as employee wages/benefits, materials and supplies and to expand their operations.

Anyway, this is getting technical and I am sure I am butchering some of this explanation. Point being, it's September. Last month, the IndyGo board adopted a proposed budget of $65 million and it won't be long before the City-County Council will begin the reviewing process and make their decision on the budget.

We need your help. Once again I urge you to call your City-County Councilors. Voice your opinion (hopefully in favor) of the proposed budget. First, review it yourself. Go to IndyGo's website and check out the PowerPoint presentation. It's full of useful and interesting information that we'd all benefit from you knowing. Not just about the budget, but about why IndyGo needs the money and their vast potential to use it.

Take note that the proposed $65 million includes improved frequency on key corridors, adding weekend services on some routes and adding a whole new route altogether.

Check out the upcoming meetings calendar. The series of public meetings are coming quickly. Take note that next Thursday, Sept. 20, the Municipal Corporations Committee will meet and IndyGo will present its budget and you can comment about it all you want... it's open to the public.

And, with that voice, head back to the City-County Council building on Oct. 1 for the City-County Council Public Hearing. The following day, the Municipal Corporation Committee will have the final budget review and recommendation. On the 15th, the budget gets approved, denied or amended.

This extra revenue for IndyGo is a great first step in the process, and one that is tangible right now. Thank you so much for being active, staying involved and up-to-date and working with us to bring an improved transit system to the City.

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