The State of
Indiana will subsidize the South Shore commuter line by around $16 million
this year, according to the 2017 business plan adopted by the Northern
Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s Board of Trustees at its meeting
unanimously to approve that plan.
The plan projects
revenues from passenger fares of $22,865,000, plus $35,000 in parking fees.
expenses of $49,279,784. Salaries, wages, and benefits account for 62
percent of that amount; traction power and utilities, 17 percent; equipment,
material, and supplies, 9 percent; claims and insurance, 4 percent;
professional services, 4 percent; and other, 4 percent. NICTD General
Manager Michael Noland made note in particular of a “huge increase” in
healthcare costs of 15 percent as well as wage increases.
* An operating
deficit of $26,379,784.
revenues of $10,572,000, including federal maintenance grants of $5,200 000
and a Metra purchase of service from NICTD totaling $3,700,000.
* A net deficit
before state funding of $15,807,784.
projects in 2017 include continued work on the federally mandated positive
train control; completion of the environmental and preliminary engineering
for the double-tracking project and the West Lake Corridor Extension; and
the installation of automatic gates at 19 grade-crossings, most of them in
LaPorte County but a few in Porter County.
Other highlights of
the 2017 business plan:
* NICTD will
continue to operate the Sunrise Express, Train 6, and its sister return
train, Train 11.
* The second phase
of the two-phase fare hike--which will increase the cost of a one-way ticket
by 2.5 percent will go into effect. The revenues from this hike will be
reserved--as are those from last year’s 2.5-percent increase--for capital
projects and federal grant matches.