Riders offers suggestions for Vline bus service
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent December 14, 2013 8:00PM
Updated: December 14, 2013 10:53PM
VALPARAISO — City transit riders are grateful for the Vline, but want some changes. Several attended a recent public input session, part of a study to improve routes and service.
“We just want to continue to grow in the right way,” Laura Brown of RLS associates of Raleigh, N.C., said at the meeting Thursday night.
The city hired RLS to do the study. Thursday’s meeting was the fourth public-input session for that effort.
The main complaints were inconvenience of route coverage, scheduled times, frequency, and the length of some bus trips.
Brown said Valparaiso University students, who make up 45 percent of riders, had similar comments.
Resident Kevin Hazelton wants major routes to run buses every half hour. He also doesn’t like the lack of Sunday service, which keeps him from getting to work.
The Vline introduced an experimental “purple” route on Dec. 2, which runs Monday-Saturday. It circles the city, covering the yellow and red routes, and Hazelton said the city needs to publicize that and other services.
Debra Ross said that because buses no longer go down Calumet Avenue, she has to wait on the bus at least 45 minutes to get to work, although it takes about 10 minutes to get home.
She also lamented the lack of Sunday service, which keeps her from her job. Also, the purple line doesn’t run late enough or close enough for her to work nights at her grocery store job.
“I’m not going to walk eight miles in the snow, in the ice and in the street,” she said.
Some bus users would like more regular service to the South Shore station in Chesterton, and many want service to Porter Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center north of the city.
Speakers also mentioned a lack of service along west U.S. 30 or nearness to apartment complexes.
Those who want to add their insights to the study can call Valparaiso assistant planner and transportation director Taylor Wegrzyn at (219) 462-1161.
Wegrzyn said what regular riders had to say is necessary for the study and the program’s future.
The next step in the study will happen in mid-January when college students survey riders on the bus.
RLS will make a public presentation about its study in late March or early April.