2013 Indiana General Assembly

South Shore study on track to governor

2013-03-25T18:00:00Z 2013-03-26T07:48:04Z South Shore study on track to governorBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | State lawmakers would be required to examine the future of the South Shore Line and its operating board under legislation approved Monday by the Indiana Senate.

House Bill 1450, which now goes to the governor, obligates the General Assembly's transportation study committee meeting this summer to take an in-depth look at South Shore funding and potential expansion into south Lake County.

The panel also would review the board membership of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, initially proposed giving Lake County a majority on the NICTD board since Lake County residents make up the majority of South Shore riders.

However, she agreed to replace that legislation with a study committee to better analyze the economic benefits of transit-oriented development throughout the region.

"I have long had concerns about the future of the South Shore, along with expansion to Munster and beyond," Candelaria Reardon said. "It is my hope that further study and additional representation will help our community reach its potential."

State Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, sponsored the measure in the Senate, where it passed 45-1.

It cleared the House 87-3 on Feb. 19.

The Senate on Monday also voted 46-0 for House Bill 1310, allowing a locomotive to continue operating if its bell, but not its whistle, stops working during the course of the day.

Currently, a train engineer must hand-flag every railroad crossing if the locomotive bell stops operating.

That proposal, which also goes to the governor, was sponsored by state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake.

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