pandemic has prompted the South Shore commuter line to implement a temporary
modified weekday train schedule.
The new schedule
will go into effect on Monday, March 23, and will remain in effect until
review the new schedule, which is essentially a modified weekend/holiday
schedule with the addition of two morning and two afternoon rush-hour
trains. Weekend train schedules will not be changed at this time.
pandemic has led to a substantial reduction in the daily ridership on the
South Shore,” according to a statement released by the Northern Indiana
Commuter Transportation District. “Given the significant drop in ridership,
the South Shore believes that temporarily reducing train service is an
effective way to balance service with the reduced demand occurring during
the COVID-19 pandemic. By reducing the number of cars in operation, we also
improve our opportunities to do a deeper clean on out-of-service equipment.”
“Further, there is
always the risk of exposure to our on-board crews,” the South Shore noted.
“Fewer trains in service means that we will have extra crews available to
operate trains in the event that a larger number of employees are
unavailable for service. Further, we ask that our passengers purchase
tickets in advance through the South Shore mobile app, South Shore ticket
vending machines, or South Shore ticket agent. Reducing or eliminating cash
transactions with our train crews will help reduce our employees’ exposures
relating to cash fare collections.”
schedule will operate with trains consisting of as many cars as possible,
and all cars open to facilitate social distancing.
The South Shore is
also “taking additional steps to disinfect our cars and are bringing in
external support to supplement the tremendous job our cleaning crews are
currently doing,” NICTD President Michael Noland said. “Together, we can
further reduce the potential spread of this disease. We know that we can get
through this difficult time, and the South Shore is committed to doing its
South Shore trains
provide an essential public service relied upon by healthcare professionals
for travel to their essential assignments, and by citizens with previously
scheduled medical appointments. The South Shore intends to operate unless
public health officials or the government ask it to cease operations.