Gary Public Transportation buses looking at potential service changes

The Gary Public Transportation Corp. is looking at potential service changes. It will host a public meeting Oct. 4 to discuss them.

John J. Watkins, The Times, file

The Gary Public Transportation Corp. and South Shore Transit Alliance will host a public meeting Oct. 4 regarding the potential elimination of the Lakeshore South bus service.

During the summer, GPTC reduced service on the route, which departs from the intersection of Sibley and Morton, then runs a loop south to Ridge Road in Munster and Highland. The transit agency will eliminate Lakeshore South in December without local funding of about $200,000, according to GPTC officials.

"The public will be urged to come with questions, concerns and personal experiences relating to transit needs," GPTC said in announcing the meeting, which starts at 12:30 p.m. at Hammond Public Library.

Beyond fare revenue, half of the cost of the Lakeshore South service is paid by the federal government. GPTC has been funding the other half.

Lakeshore South generally provides 8,200 trips per month, according to GPTC. Paratransit service in the area would also end.

The local funding would restore Lakeshore South to its original schedule, as well as the Lakeshore Connection route, which runs between Metro Center in downtown Gary and the Sibley-Morton intersection in Hammond. That service was reduced from one-hour frequency to two-hour.

The South Shore Transit Alliance is made up of GPTC, North Township, East Chicago Transit and Everybody Counts, a support and advocacy agent for people with disabilities.

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Andrew covers transportation, real estate, casinos and other topics for The Times business section. A Crown Point native, he joined The Times in 2014, and has more than 15 years experience as a reporter and editor at Region newspapers.