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GARY — The Adam Benjamin Metro Center will be getting a much-needed upgrade this year as the new Broadway Metro Express Service rolls out.

BACKGROUND

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said at the Feb. 7 council meeting that she was getting calls weekly about the condition of the metro center and indicated that improvements were on the way.

The center, at 100 W. Fourth St., serves as a station for the South Shore commuter rail line as well as the region's central bus terminal with routes connecting to seven local communities. It also is a stop for the Greyhound Bus service.

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The Gary Public Transportation Corp.'s Board of Directors is expected to vote on staff recommendations for a contractor to perform improvements to the facility on April 6.

The improvements include new flooring on the first and second floor and the South Shore skywalk, a new ceiling and lighting on both floors and improved exterior lighting. Roofing repairs also will be made to the skywalk, along with improvements to the exterior signs and upgraded security cameras.

The GPTC, city of Gary and the Gary Sanitary District are working together on the improvements. Federal grants going to the GPTC are expected to cover 80 percent of the cost for the project, which has an estimated budget of just less than $1 million, according to David Wright, planning and marketing manager for the GPTC. The city and the sanitary district are expected to provide the local matching funds.

"These changes will greatly improve both the comfort, accessibility and functionality of the metro center," he said. "Customers have been asking about these upgrades, and we think Gary and NWI's travelers deserve an amenable, comfortable transportation facility for their travel needs."

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