Press Kit for the Transit Concepts

CONNECT is a collaborative effort to decide where bus service should go, when it should run, and how frequently it should operate. Today’s bus network is the result of decades of cumulative small changes and adjustments. The resulting network may not be meeting the goals and priorities of today’s residents, employers, and institutions.

 

CONNECT is an opportunity to review existing and potential transit demand and need, and to design a network that meets those demands and needs most effectively.

The Choices Report was the first step in CONNECT. It was meant to spark a conversation about transit needs and goals in St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties. The sections below summarize key issues, challenges, and choices. Read on below, download the full report, to understand key background to the CONNECT Transit Plan process.

What should the future of public transit look like in South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart, and Goshen? The Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) and the South Bend Public Transportation Corporation (Transpo) want the community to help decide by responding to four concepts of what a new transit network could look like for the region. Two concepts show how the region’s bus network could be run differently within current funding levels. Two new concepts show how additional funding could improve service, expanding where transit goes and improving the usefulness of service.

South Bend and Mishawaka Area Concepts

Map of Existing Transit Network

Map of the Coverage Concept: this concept expands the network to cover more area, but because there are so many routes, frequencies are low. Ridership is lower because people may not want to wait as long.

Map of the Ridership Concept: this concept connects the busiest parts of the region with the best possible bus service (every 15 minutes or better). On average, more people can get to more places sooner with this concept, so ridership will be higher, but it doesn't cover as many people.

Map of the Growth Concept: this concept provides both the frequency of the Ridership Concept and the additional places and neighborhoods served by the Coverage Concept. The additional service dramatically increases how many useful destinations an average resident can reach in a given amount of time, while also maintain and expanding coverage.

Map of the Vision Concept: this concept is a vastly improved network that would provide far more frequent service along most of the major corridors in South Bend and Mishawaka. It would also begin to introduce grid-like elements to better serve trips that begin and end outside of downtown.

Elkhart and Goshen Area Concepts

Map of Existing Transit Network

Map of the Coverage Concept: this concept expands the network to cover more area, but because there are so many routes, frequencies are low. Ridership is lower because people may not want to wait as long.

Map of the Ridership Concept: this concept connects the busiest parts of the region with the best possible bus service (every 15 minutes or better). On average, more people can get to more places sooner with this concept, so ridership will be higher, but it doesn't cover as many people.

Map of the Growth Concept: this concept provides both the frequency of the Ridership Concept and the additional places and neighborhoods served by the Coverage Concept. The additional service increases how many useful destinations an average resident can reach in a given amount of time, while also maintain and expanding coverage.

Map of the Vision Concept: this concept is a vastly improved network that would introduce frequent service between South Bend, Elkhart, and Goshen. It would also expand coverage to area currently not served by transit. It maximizes investment to maximize progress towards important community goals such as economic development, air quality, and sustainability.

Public Engagement Opportunities

Over the next two months, MACOG and Transpo invite the public to learn more about these four concepts by reading the report, coming to a public meeting, visiting with staff at major bus stops, and taking the public survey (available at the project website). The study team will be engaging the public in multiple ways from June 1 through July 31 to get responses from riders and the general public.

Concepts Report Presentation Virtual Meeting with Live Stream
Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Via Zoom (Link)

Goshen Open House
Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Maple City Conference & Events Center
222 S 3rd St, Goshen, IN 46526

South Bend Open House
Thursday, July 14, 2022, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
St. Joseph Public Library - Downtown, Community Learning Center A&B
304 S. Main St. South Bend, IN 46628

Mishawaka Open House
Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Library, Main Branch
209 Lincolnway E, Mishawaka, IN 46544
 
Elkhart Open House 
Wednesday, July 20, 2022, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Pierre Moran Pavilion
200 W Lusher Ave, Elkhart, IN 46516