Fort Wayne Community Schools’ students and parents can expect fewer bus routes and changing school hours starting in the fall. The FWCS Board voted unanimously Monday to begin a new transportation plan that will save the district $2.5 million.
The plan was necessary to address a gap in the district's transportation budget due to state property tax caps that reduced the amount of money FWCS could raise.
Governor Mike Pence says he wants the State Budget Committee to release the second half of the Major Moves 2020 fund. That would amount to $200 million dollars for road projects.
Listen to Brandon Smith's story on Gov. Pence's request to release the rest of the money from the Major Moves 2020 fund.
Two years ago, lawmakers put aside $400 million into what they called the Major Moves 2020 fund. It was meant for long-term, future projects. Pence last year secured the release of half of the fund to add lanes to major interstates. The governor Tuesday announced he will ask the State Budget Committee to approve the transfer of the remaining 200 million. He says it will be used for capacity building.
The Indiana Department of Transportation says the cost of maintaining Indiana’s roads is substantial and growing, while the revenue streams used to pay for those repairs are decreasing. Yet, the legislature will likely be unable address that issue in its next budget.
Governor Mike Pence is noncommittal on whether Indiana will support the future of the Hoosier State Passenger Rail Line with state dollars, instead shifting responsibility to local communities along the line that runs between Chicago and Indianapolis.
Federal funding for the Hoosier State Rail Line was cut off last year. The state and local communities along the line reached a temporary funding agreement that keeps the route running through October. But Indianapolis has announced it will no longer contribute funds.
A blue ribbon panel studying Indiana’s future transportation needs laid out this week the state’s top road project priorities. The task now is to figure out how to pay for them.
The panel recommended four priorities for road construction projects – widening I-65 and I-70, building an I-69 Ohio River bridge and creating a commerce connector around Indianapolis. The panel did not include specific funding recommendations, though co-chair Cathy Langham says it does suggest developing some sort of user fee system.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long says it’s unlikely the General Assembly will include any local funding in legislation freeing up transportation dollars.
In last year’s budget, the General Assembly put aside 400 million dollars into a transportation fund to be used for major projects in the future. In response to a request by the governor, proposed legislation this session would release at least some of the money to the executive branch for construction now.