INDIANAPOLIS – On Tuesday, the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill (SB) 379, a measure proposed by State Senator Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) that would create a mechanism to expand Bloomington Transit services throughout Monroe County.

“Bloomington Transit does an excellent job of providing mass transit services for the City of Bloomington, but there is no revenue stream that would allow transit services to expand into the rest of Monroe County’s jurisdiction,” said Stoops.

Sen. Stoops noted that half the population of Monroe County lives outside of the city’s boundaries, along with major employment centers, Ivy Tech, YMCA, parks and shopping.

“Rural Transit is able to provide limited rides for county residents, but due to funding cuts, has to turn down thousands of rides every year,” said Sen. Stoops. “If this bill is successful, it means we can finally provide transit routes to Ellettsville, our rural towns, and Lake Monroe. We can also create Park and Ride options at the county border for the 15,000 people who commute in from out-of-county every day, reducing traffic impact on our local roads.”

Sen. Stoops also believes a successful SB 379 would help expand the relationship between Bloomington Transit and Rural Transit to create a strong transit network that would expand out to neighboring counties. The bill would allow the Monroe County Council to enact a .1 percent up to a .25 percent increase in the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) rate to fund the expansion.

The bill will now move to the full Senate where any member can amend the proposal.

Sen. Stoops represents Indiana Senate District 40, which includes portions of Monroe County, including the City of Bloomington. For more information on Sen. Stoops, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S40.

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