Chesterton Tribune



COVID19 prompts South Shore to reduce number of trains

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The COVID-19 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 further notice.

Visit to 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.

“The COVID-19 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.”

The modified 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 part.”

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.


Posted 3/19/2020




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