There was a recent study published that over 90% of Indianapolis residents want a Rapid Transit System, and they want it now. The majority (61%!!!) would be willing to pay higher gas taxes to help fund such a project, in addition to transit fares, tolls, etc.
I myself would support a modest STATE tax hike in addition other tax revenue sources - an modest increase in gas tax, while having a minimal effect of the environment, would nonetheless have some positive effect. Also, it may actually help serve to shift even more individuals from car to transit driving - thereby increasing indirectly the revenue from the transit useage (assuming full capacity would not have already been met).
Indeed a gas tax might initially at least be met with falling overall gas prices as the transit system may cut the demand. Funny how high gas prices spur the need for a transit system, and the transit system then changes the gas prices.
Rapid Transit would certainly reduce the congestion in Indianapolis and help poorer individuals who simply can't afford a lot of car travel, especially given Indianapolis's lack of population density. Not to mention, gas taxes are great revenue generators, so if the purpose is to help fund the expense of the RTS, that would be an ideal source of such funds.
So while i definately don't support federal gas tax hikes, and especially not on the order of what some economists want, I DO generally think gas taxes can be used by localities with specific needs - provided a large number of the population supports it (and is therefore politically feasable).