The Board of
Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) has
approved an ongoing commitment of up to $3 million annually for the next 30
years to help fund the South Shore commuter rail line’s double-tracking
represents Lake and Porter counties’ portion of the project cost, which is
being shared by local governments in the four Northern Indiana counties
served by the South Shore line: Lake, Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph.
$3-million commitment follows previous funding commitments across Northern
Indiana, including ones from Michigan City and LaPorte County. “Having local
funding in place for South Shore double-tracking puts us at a significant
advantage over other parts of the country that are also seeking federal
matching funds for their transportation projects,” RDA President and CEO
Bill Hanna said in a statement released on Thursday.
Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which operates the South Shore,
plans to begin construction on the approximately $290 million project by
2019 and have trains operating on the new rail by 2020.
double-tracking the existing South Shore line from Gary to Michigan City,
combined with other improvements including high-level boarding platforms and
track realignments in South Bend and Michigan City, will dramatically lower
travel times and improve service to and from Millennium Station in Chicago,
as shown in the following table,” the statement said.
“Together, the West
Lake Corridor project in Lake County and the double-tracking project across
Northern Indiana are projected to roughly double South Shore ridership,
attract an estimated 11,000 new residents to Lake and Porter counties,
create more than 6,000 new jobs in Indiana, and catalyze approximately $2
billion in private investment in Lake, Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph
counties over the next 20 years,” the statement added.
For more details,
download the RDA’s updated strategic plan at