Friday, January 10, 2014

Train Line blames rider drop on slow Chicago job growth

Crain's Chicago Business reports:
Ridership dropped slightly last year on northern Indiana's South Shore commuter railroad, its sixth consecutive annual decline. Officials say slow job growth in downtown Chicago takes some blame.

South Shore officials are blaming the drop partly on fewer riders going to festivals and other entertainment in Chicago and slow job growth in downtown Chicago, which is the primary destination for most of its passengers.

"It has taken awhile for Chicago to come back," South Shore marketing director John Parsons told The Times of Munster

The line, which is Indiana's only major mass transit system between cities, boarded 3.61 million passengers in 2013 between South Bend and Chicago, down 1.7 percent from 2012.

The ridership decline comes as a push is on to secure funding for extending the rail line into the communities of southern Lake County.

The South Shore had 4.25 million riders in 2007 before the declines began during the recession.
No word yet from the urban boosters who claim downtown Chicago is "vibrant". Also , no word yet from Barack Obama or Senator Dick Durbin who haven't figured out that trains aren't going to reach to popularity of the nineteenth century.