Column: Indy won't benefit from mass transit

There is one inescapable reason a regional mass-transit system will not succeed in the Indianapolis area.

“Put simply, mass transit needs mass – i.e. density.” And we don’t have it.

The quotation comes from two experts in urban transit: Erick Guerra and Robert Cervero of the University of California at Berkeley. They studied 59 rapid bus transit, light-rail and heavy-rail systems in 19 metropolitan areas. Their lesson: For mass transit to be cost-effective, job density and residential density must be high along the way.

Central Indiana does not have high-density employment hubs or neighborhoods to justify mammoth investment in public transit. Yet once again, the movers and shakers are pushing the legislature to pass a bill that would be the first step of a costly process setting up a regional mass transit system.

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