IUN Calls for South Shore Expansion

IUN Chancellor William Lowe

In a Northwest Indiana Times editorial published today, Indiana University Northwest Chancellor William Lowe called for expansion of commuter rail in the region.

The number of employers within one mile of the South Shore Line’s Millennium Station is nearly the same as within the five Northwest Indiana counties. Yet, these 16,000 Chicago businesses employ twice as many, and pay more than double Northwest Indiana salaries.

Greater access to these Loop-based jobs and their highly competitive salaries can only make Northwest Indiana more economically attractive, stable and vibrant, which is a way to create more well-paying jobs here.

Please become an informed, active citizen and show your support for this transformational investment by writing, emailing or tweeting your local elected officials.

Also, plan to attend the “Laying Track for the Future” event hosted by the Emerging Leaders Network on March 10 at the Avalon Manor.

Read the whole thing. The Chancellor has also provided a letter of support (.pdf) for the Emerging Leaders event he mentions. If you are interested in attending the free March 10 event, you can find all the details and register for the event here.

Purdues, Valparaiso University Support South Shore Expansion

Purdue University Calumet, Purdue North Central and Valparaiso University have joined other regional educational institutions and businesses in supporting expansion of South Shore commuter rail in Lake County.

Their support was solicited by the Emerging Leaders of Northwest Indiana, a collaboration of local professional groups supporting commuter rail and other regional initiatives that are key to Northwest Indiana’s future. The group is hosting an event in support of rail expansion on March 10 at the Avalon in Merrillville. This event, featuring Congressman Pete Visclosky, begins at 6 p.m. and is free to attend. For more details and to sign up, click here.

Crossroads Chamber, Calumet College Voice Support for South Shore Expansion

The Crossroads Chamber of Commerce and the Calumet College of St. Joseph have both added their voice to those urging expansion of commuter rail in Northwest Indiana. You can read the chamber’s resolution here and a letter from Calumet College President Dan Lowery to Congressman Pete Visclosky here. The Regional Development Authority appreciates their support and thanks them for their efforts.

RDA Commits $8 Million Annually to South Shore Rail Expansion

The first phase of the long-discussed West Lake Corridor rail expansion project took a significant step forward at last Friday’s meeting of the Board of Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority. The Board committed $8 million a year in RDA funds to match local funds generated for construction of the line.

The Times of Northwest Indiana’s Special Section on the South Shore
The Case for Rail on nwindiana.com
Inside Indiana Business interviews Bill Hanna on rail expansion.

“This is yet another significant step in transforming Northwest Indiana,” said RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna. “What is crucial from this point on is building a partnership between local, state and federal officials to close the funding gap.” Hanna pointed to the Town of Munster, which recently voted to dedicate 34 percent of its share of the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) to fund rail expansion, as an example of the leadership needed. “We are working closely with Congressman Peter Visclosky, Lake County officials, local officials and state legislators to get across the finish line,” he said.
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