New Interurban Trolley routes, schedules go into effect Monday

The Interurban Trolley, the public transit system in the Elkhart and Goshen areas, starts operating on its new routes on Monday. Officials don't anticipate major snafus.
Posted on March 30, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Traveling on the Interurban Trolley is going to be a little different.

Changes in some of the public transit system’s routes and schedules — meant to save money — go into effect Monday.

The Red Line, along U.S. 33 between downtown Elkhart and Goshen, and the Yellow Line, which goes from downtown Elkhart to a stop in Mishawaka of St. Joseph County’s TRANSPO transit system, remain unchanged.

The Green and Orange lines in the Elkhart area, though, face significant change, while the Blue Line also sees some tweaks.

“We hope that the confusion is minimized,” Sandi Seanor, executive director of the Michiana Area Council of Governments, said in an email. MACOG is the quasi-governmental body based in South Bend that helps manage the Interurban Trolley.

Seanor said new schedules should already be available on trolleys and they were to be distributed to various businesses and other locations this week. There are no hard and fast rules on how the changes will impact riders. It all depends on where they start and where they’re going.

“There will be some additional transferring and there will also be some transfer reductions,” Seanor said.

Elkhart, Goshen and MACOG reps announced that changes were coming in early February and the MACOG Policy Board formally approved them in mid-March in the lead-up to Monday’s changeover. Here’s a rundown of some of the tweaks:

Ÿ The Blue Line: The route, which serves northern and central Elkhart, will now include the Riverside Highrise at 181 N. Elkhart Ave., previously on the Green Route. Route time will remain 60 minutes.

Ÿ The Green Line: The route no longer extends to Concord Mall or the Dunlap area, which are served by the Red and Orange lines. Service continues to the Lincoln Center and the Sears and Kroger Supermarket at Woodland Crossing in southern Elkhart. The revamped line will serve Faith Mission in Elkhart and several residential areas on Sixth, Oakland and Prairie streets, new additions to the trolley system.

Part of the Orange Line — the section serving Martin’s Super Market, Holiday Village and other points in northwestern Elkhart — has been shifted to the revamped Green Line. Route time will go down to 60 minues from an hour and 20 minutes.

Ÿ The Orange Line: The route, serving a broader area of Elkhart south of the St. Joseph River, now extends to the Sears and Kroger at Woodland Crossing, Concord Mall and the Ivy Tech Community College campus at C.R. 18 and Old C.R. 17. Ivy Tech service increases from three trips per day up to one trip per hour during operating times.

The former Orange Line extension to northwestern Elkhart is now part of the Green Line, though the revamped Orange line still includes the Martin’s Super Market on East Jackson Boulevard as well as industrial areas along Middlebury Street.

Roosevelt Center on Indiana Avenue in Elkhart and residential areas on Indiana Avenue and Prairie Street are also on the Orange Line, new additions to the trolley system. Route time will be 60 minutes.

The fare remains the same, $1. Riders with questions may call MACOG at 674-8894

The changes stemmed from a reduction in funding to the Interurban Trolley from Concord Township. Though MACOG has been able to make up for part of the loss thanks to an increase in funding from the cities of Elkhart and Goshen and Elkhart, Cleveland and Osolo townships, the trolley system’s long-term financial situation remains uncertain, Seanor has said.

Trolley bus route changes

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