Travel time between Michigan City and Chicago is expected to be substantially reduced from today’s 1 hour and 40 minute trip.
The South Shore Line (SSL) will be able to operate more trains during rush hour, improving service frequency and making the service more attractive to non-riders.
Safety will be greatly improved in Michigan City, because the train will no longer be traveling in the same roadway as drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. The station at 11th Street would be improved so passengers could board from high-level platforms rather than the street level, and some of the at-grade crossings between Sheridan Road and Michigan Boulevard would be closed.
To move this project forward, the South Shore Line (SSL) has initiated a study that will assess the potential impacts of the Double Track Northwest Indiana project on the man-made and natural environments. This effort will build on prior and current planning studies in Michigan City and for the Miller/Lake Street Station in Gary. The SSL will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA), so that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) may issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).
These steps are necessary to meet the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements so that the project can possibly advance in the FTA’s Core Capacity funding program. These are the required steps that NICTD must take to receive potential federal funding for the project.