MACOG seeks public comments on transit
ELKHART — A 24-hour transit service that abruptly stopped picking up customers in Elkhart and Goshen round the clock this summer may come to a screeching halt.
The Michiana Area Council of Governments, or MACOG, is accepting comments from the public via snail mail and email until Oct. 4 on whether to discontinue operations of Heart City Rider and Goshen Transit Service. The two transportation services were suspended Aug. 15 after Yellow Cab of Elkhart County ended its contract with MACOG. The cab company had been offering rides with fares subsidized by MACOG since Jan. 25 but cut ties with the organization this summer, citing disputes over finances. MACOG, however, continued providing rides to customers with Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, cards with at least 24-hour advance notice.
MACOG announced Friday, Sept. 13, that the organization was considering dropping the 24-hour service indefinitely and replacing it with a similar ADA paratransit program for people with disabilities called the Interurban Trolley Access Service. The service would operate the same days and hours as the Interurban Trolley, which picks up riders from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Customers would have to schedule a ride a day in advance.
The Interurban Trolley Access Service would extend the ADA corridor to the maximum allowed, 1.5 miles on either side of the trolley routes, according to MACOG. This change would double the trolley’s ADA coverage area. Other improvements proposed include new equipment and more passenger shelters along routes.
Public comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to 227 W. Jefferson Blvd., #1120, South Bend, IN 46601.
A public hearing will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Elkhart County Public Services building, 4230 Elkhart Road in Goshen.