Legislature will study South Shore expansion this summer
By Matt Mikus email@example.com March 19, 2013 1:02PM
Mara Candelaria Reardon. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 21, 2013 6:28AM
INDIANAPOLIS — A bill to conduct a summer study regarding the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District moved closer to reality Tuesday.
Authored by State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, House Bill 1450 will begin the study to consider the board composition, funding for the board of trustees, use of public mass transit funds, ridership numbers, and consider expanding the rail lines used by the South Shore Railroad.
The legislation originally would have removed representatives from county councils in Lake, Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph counties, and replaced them with mayors from Hammond, Gary, East Chicago, Portage, and Valparaiso and other cities. The sudden change in board membership had miffed the NICTD board.
Reardon still worries that the board makeup has slowed progress toward expanding the West Lake corridor rail to Munster and other towns. Her intent has been to offer a venue to discuss the needs of Lake County commuters, who she believes are underrepresented on the NICTD board.
The new bill calls for conducting the survey this summer and for officials to present their findings by Nov. 1.