WHITING | A free shuttle will service destinations in the Whiting-Robertsdale area from Memorial Day to Labor Day as part of a new Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce initiative.
The shuttle, called the Southern Shores Connector, will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Drop-off points will be at various locations, including the Hammond Marina, Whiting Sports Complex, Wolf Lake Splash Pad and Horseshoe Casino.
The shuttle will run in a continuous loop from 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
“Whiting and Robertsdale are really becoming a destination for a lot of people for dining, entertainment and recreational activities,” said Tom Dabertin, president of the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce.
Dabertin said the aim for the service is to connect the key points in the community and help visitors when parking is tough to find in the downtown area. The service also will run to Strack & Van Til on Calumet Avenue and the Walmart in North Hammond.
“We think this will pay off dividends for the community,” Dabertin said. “If you go to downtown Whiting, we now have about 10 restaurants that are very, very popular.”
Dabertin said the Chamber of Commerce is covering the cost of the shuttle, and the City of Whiting also has provided financial assistance.
If the shuttle is successful this summer, the chamber may bring back the service during Christmastime or expand the route to pick up businesses in the North Hammond area with a potential stop at a South Shore Line station.
“It's a fabulous idea for the area,” said Karen Gajewski, the chamber's executive director. “One of the things we've had problems with in the past in downtown Whiting is parking. This will open that up a little bit more. It will work well for visitors and even residents getting one place to another.”