V-Line riders support late night summer hours
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent May 24, 2012 1:12PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 9:40AM
VALPARAISO — City residents apparently like the extended hours on the V-Line bus service’s green and yellow routes as the brown line shuts down for the summer.
About seven people who attended a public hearing Thursday for the new summer routes said “yes” simultaneously when someone raised the possibility of keeping the two routes open until 10 p.m. all year.
From June 4 to Aug. 13, with Valparaiso University in summer class hours, the city will shut down the brown line as usual.
The brown route services downtown and the campus, and the yellow and green line service ends at 8 p.m. when the brown line is open.
“I think extending the hours will be great because I can get to work,” said Denise Ayres, who works at Golden Living on Silhavy Road.
“The extended hours do help.”
She said that walking home at night along Silhavy is frightening, especially in areas not well lit.
Sherri Cox said the bus also helps her, a disabled woman who cannot drive, get around town, and the extended hours allow her to take a girl who stays with her over the summer to Tuesday night movies and other downtown events.
Unfortunately, she can’t get downtown for winter events, but “the V-Line is a lifesaver,” she said.
Carla Robinson, who also likes the bus for work, was concerned about both the elderly and remaining students who rely on the brown route, although yellow and green routes do cover the areas around the university as part of their extended routes.
Mayor Jon Costas said that the brown line shuts down because Valparaiso University pays for one-third of its costs, but the city is considering route changes.
“We will scratch and look to see if we can raise more,” Costas said.
City Planner Tyler Kent said the city is working on a grant to fund a route analysis study.
Costas also said that the city hopes to soon have a cellphone application that tracks buses, so riders will know where they are.
Also at the meeting, City Engineer Tim Burkman presented plans to install sidewalks around Cooks Corners Elementary School.
The project, paid fully with a $155,000 Safe Walks federal grant, will put in 4,025 feet of side walk and 11 curb ramps north and west of the school on Calumet Avenue.
The Indiana Department of Transportation is expected to begin the work in early autumn.
Sidewalks also will go in on Green Acres Drive, Meadow Lane, Summit Drive and in missing areas on Pine View lane.
The city also has Safe Walks funding for walks to Memorial Elementary, and that work is expected to take place about 2014, after the city completes flood prevention work in the Chautauqua neighborhood.