Gov. Eric J.
Holcomb has announced his appointments to the newly restructured Northern
Indiana Commuter Transportation District board.
County will be County Commissioner Jeff Good, R-Center, who replaces on the
NICTD board fellow Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North, and County Council
Member Dan Whitten, D-at large.
The other local
representatives: Gary Mayor Karen Freeman Wilson (Lake County); St. Joseph
County Commissioner Andrew Kostielney; and Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer (LaPorte
of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuiness will serve as chair and fifth
member of the board.
responsible for maintaining and improving the South Shore commuter line;
which operates between the Michiana Regional Airport in South Bend and
Millennium Station in Chicago. Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda includes
double-tracking the South Shore line and extending rail service along the
West Lake corridor, from Hammond to Dyer. “Improved rail service has the
ability to attract new residents to northwest Indiana and grow the area’s
economy by connecting the region to the nation’s third-largest city,”
according to a statement released after deadline on Tuesday.
The new state
budget, which Gov. Holcomb signed into law last month, doubles the state’s
investment in the South Shore by dedicating $185 million more to the
projects and includes an additional $20 million in a contingency fund. The
restructuring improves coordination with local, state, and federal agencies.