GPTC looks to fill gap left by RBA with Hammond route expansion

2014-01-15T19:30:00Z 2014-02-03T16:18:08Z GPTC looks to fill gap left by RBA with Hammond route expansionKeith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com
January 15, 2014 7:30 pm  • 

Gary Public Transportation Corp. appears ready to make its first major move toward replacing some of the Hammond service cut when the Regional Bus Authority went out of business in July 2012.

The Gary bus agency has scheduled two public hearings on proposed changes to its Tri-City Connections route and the addition of a new feeder route that could run an expansive route through Hammond residential and commercial areas.

Those changes could take place as early as this spring, according to GPTC. A second feeder route is also being proposed but cannot be implemented until some time later.

“The proposed service adjustment, though very modest, could mutually benefit both GPTC and the community," GPTC General Manager Daryl Lampkins said. "We have surveyed residents and riders, and additional access is possible to desired locations that have been without fixed-route service for years.”

The first hearing will be at 3 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Hammond Public Library, 564 State St. The second public hearing will be at 5:30 p.m. March 6 in the board room of GPTC’s administrative offices, on the third floor of the Adam Benjamin Metro Center, 100 W. Fourth Ave. in Gary.

The GPTC board of directors could vote on the plan as soon as its meeting following the Metro Center hearing.

The changes proposed for the Tri-City Connections route would allow it to serve Ivy Tech Community College's East Chicago campus on inbound and outbound runs, GPTC Planning and Marketing Manager David Wright said. The route also would serve the East Chicago South Shore station.

The Tri-City Connections route starts at the Metro Center and turns around at the Dan Rabin Travel Plaza in Hammond.

The new feeder route is tentatively planned to serve locations in Hammond such as Purdue University Calumet. It also could serve the Ultra Foods in Hammond and the Calumet Shopping Center in Munster, which has a Target Store, a Staples and retailers.

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