Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District

The CDOT’s plan includes 21 goals, 84 strategies and hundreds of benchmarks laid out in one- and three-year increments to “chart a course toward building safer streets; reprioritizing transportation projects to increase access to opportunities for residents in historically neglected neighborhoods; and working with CTA and regional transit agencies to expand public transportation access,” among other measures.
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Transit Briefs: Chicago DOT, FTA

The Chicago (Ill.) Department of Transportation (CDOT) has released a strategic transportation plan that it’s calling “the nation’s first” urban plan developed in the wake of the pandemic, economic and racial justice crises of 2020. Also, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is now accepting applications for its Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation.

HDR assisted in securing FTA funding for four projects that, together, will add nearly 34 miles of light rail, streetcar and commuter rail lines. Pictured: An early-design station concept for Valley Metro's South Central Light Rail Extension/Downtown Hub Project in Phoenix, Ariz.
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Supply Side: HDR, L.B. Foster

HDR advisors have helped three transit agencies secure a total of $1.23 billion for four projects under the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant program; L.B. Foster Co. has hired a new Senior Vice President and CFO.

The NICTD Board approved a $17 million construction management contract to WSP USA for the 26-mile Double Track Northwest Indiana project (rendering above), plus $1 million for rail and about $200,000 for signaling electronics contracts, so once construction starts in mid-to-late summer, work can begin.

NICTD Advances Railcar, Track Projects

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s (NICTD) Board of Directors has approved the lease of 26 bi-level EMUs from Metra to boost capacity on the South Shore Line as it advances two expansion projects that, once online, will add 26 trains per day to the schedule.

Second in a Series: Complete Streets, Incomplete Transit

In my last report, I looked at Pete Buttigieg, President-elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation, and what he would bring to the post. I looked at his own concepts as he expressed them in his acceptance speech, how he might serve USDOT’s business constituents, and his background. Part of that background is the time he spent as mayor of South Bend, a post he occupied starting in 2012. As I will describe in this article, he can claim some credit as an urbanist with his “Smart Streets” policy for the city’s downtown area, but local bus service remains limited, and the passenger trains that ostensibly run to South Bend do not go anywhere near downtown.

Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is adding a 26.6-mile second track to its South Shore commuter rail line between Gary and Michigan City, Ind., to reduce rider travel times.

FTA Signs FFGAs for NICTD, Phoenix Metro Projects

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has signed Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGAs) for Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s (NICTD) Double Track Northwest Indiana Project and for Valley Metro’s South Central Light Rail Extension/Downtown Hub Project in Phoenix.

The Kansas City (Mo.) Streetcar Main Street Extension Project, which is in the Engineering phase of FTA’s CIG program, has been allocated another $49.2 million so the existing Kansas City Streetcar can run from its current terminus at Union Station 3.5 miles to the University of Missouri-Kansas City (rendering above).

FTA Allocates $544.3MM to Seven Transit Projects

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will allocate $544.3 million to seven transit infrastructure projects—five rail-specific— through the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. This discretionary grant program funds capital investments in rapid transit, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars and bus rapid transit (BRT).

A 7.8-mile extension of the South Shore Line commuter rail service is slated to open in spring 2025, "if not sooner,” NICTD President Mike Noland said.

NICTD Launches West Lake Corridor Project

Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for its West Lake Corridor Project, extending the South Shore Line commuter rail service 7.8 miles from Hammond (on the north) to Dyer (on the south).