Save the Dunes’ Advocacy Leads to NICTD Bikes on Trains Program

NICTD bike prototypes 7-2015Great news! On Friday, July 31, 2015 NICTD’s board formally approved a short-term plan to get bikes on trains! They showcased two prototypes at the meeting that would lock into existing cars with the 3/2 seating arrangement. They will test these prototypes this fall and a pilot program will begin in April 2016. Save the Dunes starting asking NICTD for action on this over four years ago, and ever since we’ve been working side-by-side to understand the project’s challenges and opportunities together. Save the Dunes remains committed to helping them – and our entire region – plan for the necessary supporting infrastructure (bike racks, trail improvements, connections, etc.) moving forward.

NICTD stated that they will modify 3 cars and equip half the car with bike racks and leave half the seats so bikers can ride near their bicycles. The cars would be used on warm-weather weekends; the schedule will soon be determined. Seattle-based Sportworks, experts in bicycle transit rack design, worked with engineers at NICTD to develop a workable short-term solution.

Things like this don’t happen without advocacy organizations like ours, and we encourage you to support our work by becoming a member or making a donation here.

Save the Dunes has taken a leadership role in the project as part of our desire to increase non-motorized access to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park, yet clearly the benefits would be experienced region-wide.

The Advisory Committee includes NICTD, NIRPC, Save the Dunes, NPCA, The Town of Beverly Shores and the City of Gary. Quandel Consultants recently shared the mid-term plan with the public on July 16, 2015. That plan requires that NICTD purchase new cars to retrofit at least 5 existing cars to accommodate 30 bikes and 30 passengers for a warm-season, non-peak weekend program. New cars are expected within the next 5 years, so we and others have asked NICTD for this shorter-term solution to complement that.

This project is a wonderful example of what we can do together as a region through listening, learning, and problem-solving together. Thank you, NICTD!

For more about this key Save the Dunes effort, visit our website here.

One response to “Save the Dunes’ Advocacy Leads to NICTD Bikes on Trains Program

  1. Wonderful! The Dunes are to be enjoyed by people who respect them and wish to preserve them for future generations.

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