INDIANAPOLIS—Today, the Indiana Budget Committee approved seven of ten proposed Transit Development District (TDD) maps, which recognize qualified regions as areas for economic growth and development. With the progress to the South Shore Double Track Project in Northwest Indiana, stretching 25 miles total and with 16 miles of new track, the region is perfectly placed to boast TDDs that provide members of the community with increased transit and economic benefits. Of the maps approved in today’s Budget Committee, two of the TDDs are in District 3, represented by Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Eddie Melton (D-Gary).
“The approval of these two Transit Development Districts will have a significant impact on the economic development opportunities available in my district, and I’m excited about what this means for Gary. In 2017, I helped pass the budget that funded this project, and I was happy to support funding for critical economic development in my community. Developing these TDD boundaries will carve out a natural path to the revitalization of our downtown corridor, which has suffered historically but has the potential to be a booming hub.
“I do want to make one thing very clear: while I’m pleased with the work we’re doing to the South Shore, I would also like to see how we can make investments in the downtown metro center. I want to ensure it is completely safe and accessible for passengers. It’s the only station that has not been approved to receive an upgrade, and I would like to see similar investments made in diverse areas around the City of Gary.
“As of now, our metro is not ADA compliant and there are structural issues to address. By revisioning and reviving the station, we have the chance to build up the opportunities, jobs and communities throughout the development districts.
“Gary once hosted a major metro station in Northern Indiana, and we can reclaim that spot and position Gary as a city with substantial economic appeal and with unlimited growth potential. With continued legislative support and strategic moves to highlight the attractions of our city, I know we can make meaningful advancements that move Gary forward, and I look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders in state and local government on making that happen. I have already started looking toward legislative ideas for the upcoming Budget session to keep the momentum going, and it is a top priority to continue making essential investments in our city.”