Indiana Commuter Transportation District has proposed a schedule change for
three eastbound South Shore commuter trains departing Millennium station
between 5 and 6 p.m.
The changes, as
NICTD Marketing Director John Parson explained at NICTD’s Board of Directors
meeting on Friday morning:
* The 5:10 p.m.
departure would be moved to 5:24 p.m. This train, Parsons explained, is
under-utilized by riders--averaging a capacity of 72 percent in April--and
delaying its departure by 14 minutes would capture more of the 5 p.m.
“quits.” More seats would be added to this train and it would run as an
express to Hegewisch, arriving there 6 minutes sooner than currently.
* The 5:28 p.m.
departure would be moved to 5:30 p.m.
* The 5:32 p.m.
departure would be moved to 5:45 p.m., to capture more 5:30 p.m. quits.
departure would be changed as well, Parsons added: the 8:45 p.m. departure
would be moved to 9:10 p.m.
trying to address and re-balance loads,” Parsons noted.
NICTD is seeking
input from riders and will report back to the board at its May 12 meeting.
The target date for
the changes: July 1.
In other business,
Parsons reported that, through April, on-time performance has significantly
improved over the first four months of 2016:
* 94.1 percent of
weekday peak trains ran on time (87.2 percent in the year-ago period).
* 88.3 percent of
weekday off-trains ran on time (79.2 percent).
* 85.8 percent of
weekend trains ran on time (79.3 percent).
* And 89.7 percent
of all trains ran on time (81.9 percent).
Ridership, on the
other hand, is down somewhat year-over-year, Parsons also reported:
* Total passengers
through April: down 2.6 percent.;
* Average weekday
peak: down 3.0 percent.
* Average weekday
off-peak: down 3.8 percent.
Parsons noted: average weekend ridership is up 7.5 percent. “That’s
testament to some of the great weather we’ve had,” he said. “We’re hoping
the softness improves over the summer.”
Shore riders continue to move away from purchasing their tickets from agents
or conductors and in the direction of digital sales:
* Through March,
Parsons said, ticket-agent sales were down 11.4 percent and conductor sales
down 10.7 percent.
sales were up 1.0 percent, in contrast, and mobile-app sales up 61.7