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South Shore Steering Committee Begins Planning Transit Development Districts


Transit Development Districts, or TDDs, were authorized last year by the the state of Indiana. They are special-purpose districts designated to help fund specific transportation projects. The TDD advisory committee for the South Shore Line met this week in Merrillville to discuss the implementation of the TDDs along the South Shore Line.

The TDD Steering Committee for the South Shore Line will work under the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to establish TDDs across 4 counties. Taxes from the districts will help fund the South Shore Line expansion and double tracking project that is scheduled to start in 2019, when all of the funding is finalized, as well as tests are completed for zones that will require home acquisitions as well as rerouting of the rails.

The steering  committee is made up of 9 members, from 9 different stops on the South Shore Line. The committee will establish TDDs, as well as promote development within the districts and along the rails.

Michigan City Controller Rich Murphy said this is a great opportunity for everyone involved in the South Shore project to work together. He said the committee is meant to be both a support as well as a checks and balance system, to make sure the project is done as efficiently as possible.

Murphy said TDDs help cities become involved in more projects through funding. He said the city isn’t the only one that stands to benefit from the implementation of TDDs, but residents will too.

“Anybody that’s  within walking distance of this train station, their property values go up significantly,” Murphy said, “You’re effectively, virtually walking distance from Chicago.”

The South Shore double tracking and West Lake Corridor is intended to decrease travel time from South Bend to Chicago.