Inside INdiana Business

Northern Indiana commuter line reduces service as riders stay home

The South Shore Line has received another $50M grant from the US DOT for the Double Track project. (image courtesy: IIB)

CHESTERTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The South Shore commuter rail line is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing several measures, including modifications to its schedule.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is now running a weekday schedule similar to its lighter weekend/holiday schedule, but with the addition of two rush-hour trains.

Click here to view the modified schedule.

NICTD says the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial reduction in the daily ridership on the SSL. Given the drop in ridership, the SSL says it believes that temporarily reducing train service is an effective way to balance service with the reduced demand occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With fewer trains, the South Shore says it allows more for personnel to conduct a deeper cleaning of the out-of-service equipment.

“We are taking additional steps to disinfect our cars and are bringing in external support to supplement the tremendous job our cleaning crews are currently doing. Together, we can further reduce the potential spread of this disease,” said Michael Noland, South Shore Line president.

The commute line is urging passengers to purchase tickets in advance through the mobile app or kiosks to reduce cash transactions between riders and train crews.

SSL says while there are fewer trains running, it will add additional cars to the in-service trains to allow for more social distancing between riders.

As far as passengers who purchase monthly tickets, NICTD says it will honor the March passes in April since riders were not able to fully utilizes the passes.