Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s Board of Trustees voted on
Friday, May 18, to approve a 5-percent across-the-board fare increase
effective Sunday, July 1.
follows five public hearings held in April in Porter, Lake, LaPorte and St.
Joseph counties, as well as the receipt through May 11 of public input from
South Shore passengers and other stakeholders. The board heard a summary of
the comments received prior to their vote at its meeting Friday.
“This fare increase
is being implemented to help financially support the critical Positive Train
Control (PTC) project that is currently underway not only at our railroad,
but at railroads across the United States,” NICTD President Michael Noland
said. “We valued the comments received from our passengers, as they help us
better understand their concerns and values. While we did hear from some
people opposing the increase, the fact that it is focused on safety
improvements also brought in positive comments from riders.”
Earlier this year
Noland told the Chesterton Tribune that revenues from the fare hike
will be used to offset the estimated $1.5 to $2 million in new annual
expenses associated with PTC, including the hiring of as many as 10 new
technicians to operate it.
The most recent
South Shore commuter line fare hike took effect on July 1, 2017: it was the
second phase of a two-phase 5-percent increase enacted to raise additional
revenues--estimated at $1 million annually--to be used exclusively for
capital projects and investments.