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South Shore declares express service a success

Thursday, July 23, 2015 1:52 PM | Jeff Wien (Administrator)

NICTD10

A Chicago-bound train at Ogden Dunes, Ind.

This article was pulled from http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2015/07/south-shore-declares-express-service-a-success 

July 13, 2015

Brian Schmidt

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District says the South Shore Sunshine Express is a success just four months after its implementation. The express trains get South Bend commuters to Chicago in fewer than two hours by making only two other stops. The agency is now working to add more express trains to its schedule.

According to a NICTD, the South Shore is averaging roughly 100 more passengers per day traveling to Chicago from the served stations. NICTD General Manager Mike Noland says they had hoped the service would attract at least 100 new riders between the three express stops. “So far, I would deem this train a success,” Noland tells WSBT-TV.

“We are hearing from other riders about how excited they are about how there is an express train. They want one on their stop as well. But they understand there are things that we need to put in place to get there,” Noland says.

Among the changes Noland hopes to implement to add more express trains include:

  • Moving the South Shore depot to the west side of the South Bend airport, cutting 10 minutes of travel time.
  • Adding double track in the areas that are currently single track with the goal of cutting South Bend – Chicago time to 90 minutes.
  • Reducing travel time in Michigan City.

“We need to fix Michigan City,” Noland says. “Right now to go through Michigan City through the streets is a very slow ride through the middle of town. So we need to straighten those tracks out.

“We think within four to five years we can drive the times down to 90 minutes out of South Bend, 60 minutes out of Michigan City, and 45 minutes from Ogden Dunes,” Noland adds.

Noland says the South Shore is working to get federal grants to make some of the improvements. The railroad will also be doing more advertising for the Express Train to increase ridership.

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