What would persuade you to ride the bus in Northwest Indiana?

By: Chris Mahlmann Last Updated: August 28, 2010

What would persuade you to ride the bus in Northwest Indiana?

Valparaiso is one of the hotbeds for insight and opinion on bus transportation in Northwest Indiana, whether it relates to local services like the V-Line, or regional services like the Chicago Dash, and others operating throughout the area under the Regional Bus Authority.  I told Steve Walsh, the host of an upcoming radio show on Lakeshore who will be engaging folks in a round table about that question, that I would be happy to see what the Valpo folks had to say about it.

So what do you think?  What would persuade you to ride the bus?

You can comment below, you can check out the page about the show, or you can listen in and exchange that day.

That’s one of the topics our panel of contributors will debate live at Spill the Beans and on Lakeshore FM 89.1 on Friday Sept. 3 from noon to 1pm.

The discussion starts now on CheckInwithSteveWalsh.wordpress.com. Comment or submit your own topic for our Rapid-fire roundtable. The best responses will be read live on CheckIn with Steve Walsh, where local radio meets social media.

You also can also stop by Spill the Beans, 7992 Broadway Blvd. in  Merrillville.

Steve Walsh is an award-winning print journalist and radio producer based outside of Chicago. He specialized in investigations and project work the Post-Tribune  in Gary, Indiana, where he also ran the paper’s statehouse office for seven years. In 2003 and 2005, he was embedded with Indiana National Guard troops in Iraq. The second time he took audio equipment for WBEZ. For the last three years he was a founding host producer for WBEZ’s groundbreaking web, radio and multimedia project, Vocalo.org.

All Skate Media specializes in writing, audio production and social media projects. Among the current projects “Check-In with Steve Walsh” a live radio program using the tools of social media to cover current events, set to debut on LakeshoreFM.

Comments via the ValpoLife LinkedIn page:

Melissa Westphal Benefiel •  If I were a senior, disabled or low-income Porter County resident, I would absolutely consider using the door to door transportation service offered by Porter County Aging & Community Services, Inc. (PCACS), but I'm a little biased (LOL). 

Valerie Steil •  Are there maps at each of the V-Line stops showing the routes?
I have thought about trying the bus, but am not familiar with the routes.

Jim Paglia •  I agree with Melissa as it relates to special audiences, and have long felt Valerie's point about route familiarity on the V-line is a big issue. Behaviors are very difficult things to change because they are driven by habits. To change habits one needs to introduce either significant incentive, new found superior benefit at a moment old behavior would be employed, or disruptive elements. Not enough is done to demonstrate advantages of the bus. Publicity only goes so far. 

Sam Bowers
•  I live outside city limits plus need to move around city and outside city too much to use the V-Line. I am pleased to see it operating as I'm sure it is very useful to many people. I do feel that each household within the city should be advised of the schedule for pickup and destinations it travels to. 

Adam McLain •  As a recent transplant to Valpariaso from Chicago I haven't studied the routes that V-line offer and while I normally drive daily it is good to know there is a transportation sourse to utilize getting into/from the City. I'd rather have a train running here but V-Line is a start and I would imagine might be a good barameter in regards to keeping track of commuter interest.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith •  As someone who also lives outside the city limits and travels sometimes between 3 counties on a regular daily basis, public transportation would not meet my day to day transportation needs. Years ago when I lived in Hammond, I did use public transportation to get to high school and then later to commute to work using a Hammond-Chicago bus as that eliminated the necessity for driving to the South Shore.

The issue I believe is not one of persuasion for many NW Indiana residents, but meeting needs. With so many small business owners conducting business from early am breakfast meetings to on site appointments and their customers being spread out from North Lake County to east side of Porter County, I do not know how any bus could meet their needs.

After working with Washington DC Metro Transit Authority, I have experienced rail and bus transportation that brings hundred of thousands to a concentrated geographic job area. We do not have that in NW Indiana.

Valerie Steil
•  I went to school in Stevens Point, WI, which was a comparable size to Valpo, though the University was larger (about 10,000 students at the time) than VU. The city had a wonderful bus system which was well used by both the locals and the students. As students, we could ride for a dime (this was in the 70's), and free transfers were available if you needed to switch to another bus to get to your final destination. A lot of older city residents used it in place of having a car. It can work in less densely populated areas.