The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has updated its long-term strategic plan to better underscore projects it says will have a "transformative" effect. The organization says double-tracking the South Shore commuter rail line from Gary to Michigan City and extending it through the West Lake Corridor would create jobs and revenue.
The RDA projects the revenue created would more than quadruple a proposed investment total from the state.
The RDA’s projections factor in a build-out period of 2018-2022, over which time it says around 2,000 construction jobs would be created. By 2046, it estimates some 5,700 permanent jobs would come along as a result of the expansion. The RDA also attributes a potential $435 million jump from the project for Hammond, Munster, Dyer, East Chicago, Gary, Miller, Ogden Dunes and Portage in the form of local property tax revenues from 2018-2039.
Daily ridership currently stands at around 14,500, but the RDA says the West Lake corridor would boost it to 21,000 and the double-tracking would get it up to around 24,000.
You can connect to the full comprehensive plan by clicking here.