top of page

Recommendations for South Bend and Mishawaka 



Based on public feedback, the Transpo Board recommended that the Short-Term network recommendations should generally maintain existing coverage but slightly shift the emphasis of goals toward ridership. To achieve more ridership, Transpo would pursue a balance of 60% ridership and 40% coverage service goal under the Short Term Network. The current service shown in the map above is 56% ridership and 44% coverage



Pursuing the 60/40 service goal, the Short Term Transpo Network proposes the set of adjustments to improve service to major destinations within the current budget limits and the policy direction from the Transpo Board. Key differences from today’s network include:

  • Route 1 is slightly simplified to operate via Colfax, Jacobs, to McKinley. It is also extended to Southwood and Reverewood, to take over the eastern part of existing Route 11.

  • New Route 2 serves the Orange and Washington corridors, the Excel Center, and the Far Northwest, but only hourly.

  • With no new funding, the addition of Route 2 means that Route 3 is now entirely hourly. It remains mostly on Portage.

  • With the addition of Route 2, Route 4 is now simplified and remains on Lincolnway, instead of deviating to serve College, Orange, and Olive Streets.

  • Route 5 would operate the same limited schedule. It is straightened to stay on Michigan Street instead of deviating to Iroquois. The loop at the north end has been extended to serve Clay High School.

  • Routes 6 and 8 are revised in how they serve the Michigan, Fellows, and Miami corridors. Route 6 now serves Irish Hills Apartments, and continues to run every half hour, while Route 8 is reduced to every hour. Route 8 is extended farther south to Jackson Road, where Route 6 runs today.  

  • Route 7 is extended to serve Walmart and other big box stores, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and the VA and continue to downtown Mishawaka, improving access to these destinations for many people. Its path through Notre Dame has also been adjusted to be simpler and faster. With this change, Route 7 takes over for the areas served by Route 15A, which no longer exists.

  • Route 9 is replaced by Route 30, which provides a one-seat ride between Downtown South Bend and Downtown Elkhart, with faster travel times of under one hour. Route 30 also remains on Mishawaka Avenue from Logan to Main before turning south to Downtown Mishawaka.

  • Route 10 has been extended farther west to serve Martin’s at Western and Mayflower.

  • Route 11 would be mostly similar to today except that the eastern portion serving Southwood Manor and Reverewood would now be part of Route 1 and be served once per hour.

  • Route 12 has been simplified slightly. This change was made so that the route would be able to get to and from downtown in 30 minutes, making it easier to time connections with more routes.

  • ​Route 13 has been extended to Main Street to make a direct connection to Route 15. It has also been adjusted near downtown to serve areas no longer served by Route 7.

  • Route 15 is the old Route 15B. It would be changed to travel in both directions on Grape from University Mall to McKinley. It now follows Logan to Lincoln to Downtown Mishawaka.

  • Route 16 has been revised to operate via Portage from Downtown to Bendix and Cleveland, since Route 2 now provides all-day, two-way service to the industrial areas north of the airport. Route 16 has been extended north along Dylan Drive to serve new destinations, like FedEx and Amazon.


The Existing Network has a few unusual one-way patterns in the evening and on Saturday. In the Short-Term Network, these one-way patterns are removed, and all routes operate the same pattern all day and evening and Saturday. So, for example, Routes 6 and 8 operate as two-way services all day in the Short-Term Network. One cost of this investment in additional service is that some routes, like Route 6, have lower frequency all day.

Downtown South Bend

Existing Network


Short-Term Network


The Short-Term Transpo Network also makes a number of changes to routing within the Downtown South Bend area. Overall, routing is simplified, with routes consolidated to operate two-way on fewer streets. This provides benefits to riders, as it is easier to remember which street to use. It also means that improved stop amenities serve more riders, as more people will be using fewer stops within downtown.

  • Most routes from the north and west use Main Street through downtown. Routes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10 all use Main to and from South Street Station before turning off to their respective corridors.

  • Routes 2, 11, and 30 use Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd to and from South Street Station.

  • Route 3 has been consolidated onto Main Street and provides service to St. Joesph Hospital by following Marion to Lafayette to Riverside to California to Portage.

  • Route 7 has been simplified east of the river to provide a faster trip to Notre Dame and allow the route to be extended to the VA Clinic. It now follows Colfax Avenue to Hill Street to South Bend Avenue to Notre Dame Avenue.

  • Since Route 7 is shifted over to Hill Street, Route 13 has been simplified to follow Corby Street to Eddy Street to Colfax Avenue. Since this path is shorter and faster, it is possible to extend Route 13 to Main Street at its east end.

  • With the above changes to Route 7, most people on Corby and Hill now have more frequent service with Route 7, though it may be a longer walk to reach service.

  • Route 1 has been adjusted to follow Colfax Avenue in both directions, then use Jacob Street to McKinley Avenue.

Short Term Transpo Network



The Additional Funding Transpo Network includes the Short Term Network changes plus new investment in the system that provides 85% more service than the Short Term Network. 

Major improvements include

  • Frequent (15-minute service) on Western Avenue (Route 10), Mishawaka (Route 30), Portage (Route 3), Michigan (Route 6) and part of South Bend Avenue (Route 7)

  • Revised Route 7 with frequent service between Downtown South Bend and Notre Dame.

  • A further extension of Route 7 to take over Route 15A, providing 30-minute service along Main Street to Downtown Mishawaka.

  • Route 8 is improved to every 30 minutes on Fellows to Donmoyer where it then becomes two hourly services to Walmart and to Erskine Village. The southern end of Route 8 is a bi-directional loop.

  • Route 13 now has a bi-directional loop.

  • Routes 1, 2, 12, and 14 are improved to every 30 minutes.

  • Routes 5 and 16 are improved to all-day services with hourly service.

  • A new Route 18 providing direct service from Downtown to the Pokagon Community and Four Winds Casino and Hotel.

Downtown South Bend


The Additional Funding Transpo Network has the same design as the Short-Term Network, with service concentrated on Main Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. The improved frequency of service and its concentration on Main Street would provide a very useful service north-south through downtown for residents, workers, and visitors to downtown.

Additional Funding Network

Transit Outcomes: Proximity

Proximity is a key factor that shapes transit outcomes. Proximity does not tell us how useful people will find transit service, only that it is nearby to them. We also measure proximity to frequent transit service, to provide a little more information about how many people are near service that they are more likely to use.

SB Mishawaka Final Report Graphic.png

Compared to Existing, the Short-Term Network would

  • decrease the number of residents near any transit service from 78% to 77%,

  • decrease the percent of residents near 30-minute or better service from 53% to 51%


Compared to Existing, the Additional Funding Network

  • increases the percent of residents near frequent service from 0% to 32%,

  • increase the percent of residents near 30-minute or better service from 53% to 70%

  • keep the percent of residents near any service from at 77%.

Transit Outcomes: Access to Opportunity

To understand the benefits of a network change, consider this simple question: Where could I get to, in a given amount of time, from where I am? This question refers to the physical dimension of liberty and opportunity. If you can get to more places in a given amount of time, you will be freer and have more opportunities outside your neighborhood. Isochrones provide a visual explanation of how a transit network changes peoples’ freedom to travel, on foot and by transit, to or from a place of interest.

Isochrones display the change in access that a person would experience traveling to a particular
place. By summing up the isochrones for every single part of South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart,
and Goshen, we can describe how access to jobs would change for all residents of the service area. This is a good proxy for a ridership forecast, because it describes the part of ridership forecasting that is basic math and highly predictable: Could more people access more jobs (and other opportunities) by transit, in less time? If the answer is “Yes,” that implies higher ridership

The images below compare how far you can get from South Street Station, Downtown Mishawaka, or other key destinations in 60 minutes in the Short-Term and Additional Funding Networks.

output_South Street Station.png
output_Mishawaka Transfer Center.png

Want to Learn More?

Looking for Elkhart & Goshen?

Click here to see recommendations for Elkhart & Goshen.

bottom of page