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Wednesday September 19, 2018

countywide bus service extended

Tuesday, December 05, 2017 16:09 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Bus service in LaPorte County has been extended but its long term future has not been decided.

The city councils in LaPorte and Michigan City this week voted to keep the buses rolling for the next six months.

A three-year federal grant paving the way for round trip bus rides to LaPorte, Michigan City and Purdue Northwest will expire in February.

Tom MacLennan, director of Transporte, said enough funds are remaining from the grant because of watchful spending to keep the service going until the end of the spring semester at the Purdue campus near Westville.

''We're going to get an extra half year out of this,'' said MacLennan.

Transporte, the city of LaPorte's bus service, teamed up with Michigan City Transit in 2015 to operate what's known as the Transit Triangle.

The service continuing beyond that largely hinges on renewal of the federal grant, which funds 80-percent of the less than $250,000 annual operating budget.

The balance of the cost is provided by both cities, PNW and LaPorte County government, which all cited sufficient enough demand for the service when entering into the partnership.

MacLennan said ridership hasn't quite met projections but keeps rising and feels the service is getting enough use for the grant to be renewed.

He said riders are primarily students at PNW but some take the bus to and from the Ivy Tech campus in Michigan City or to jobs in LaPorte at places like Dunham's Sports at the Maple Lane Mall, he said.
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