Renewed NWI
NWI’s urban and rural centers are places people want to come
to and live in, and our environment is safe and healthy.

Airport Shuttle Service Between NW Indiana and Chicago Airports Resumes
Since Coach USA (formerly Tri-State Coach Lines) ceased service between NW Indiana and Chicago O’Hare and Midway Airports at the end of 2019, 2 new coach services have begun transportation air travelers between NW Indiana and the Chicago airports. Express Air Coach began service between Hammond and O’Hare Airport, with up to 5 pick-ups and 5 drop-offs per day on February 7, 2020. Express Air Coach already operates shuttle service between Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN and Chicago O’Hare Airport, and this new service will help fill part of the void left behind since NW Indiana lost Chicago Area airport shuttle service. The Hammond pick-up/drop-off location is located just off of the Borman Expressway Kennedy Ave exit on Carlson Dr, between the Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn & Suites. Prior reservations are required in order to use the service, and there is no parking available at the pick-up/drop-off location, meaning users must arrange their own ride to and from the pick-up/drop-off location. Here is a link to information about how to make a reservation to use the service.

Additionally, Mishawaka-based coach and limousine service Royal Excursion commenced service on March 3, 2020 between a few NW Indiana stops and Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway Airports. Initially, the service includes stops in Michigan City (Old Marquette Mall), Valparaiso (Chicago DASH lot), and Griffith (intersection of Ridge Rd and Cline Ave), but service may resume in Portage, Highland, and Crestwood, IL pending contracts.

For more information about the new Express Air Coach service between Hammond and Chicago O’Hare Airport click here , and for information about the Royal Excursion service, click here .

NIRPC is not involved in any of the funding for airport shuttle services.
Economy and Place
Our beautiful Lake Michigan coast unites the region. It is an advantage to our quality of life, an economic asset to leverage, and an environmental treasure to protect. It is also, a moving, changing powerful force of nature. 

Changing Lake Michigan water levels have impacted the Indiana shoreline for decades. Records show that lake levels fluctuates greatly over the course of years.

 Last November, the water level peaked at a near record high over 582 feet. It is predicted to remain high through June 2020. The cyclical nature of these changes makes it difficult to plan for and prepare for the impacts of erosion along the 45-mile stretch of Indiana shoreline.

This past January, NIRPC Commissioners expressed concerns about the urgent danger of multi-millions of dollars in damage to shoreline infrastructure from high Lake Michigan water levels.

Unfortunately, the long term cycle of NWI shoreline fluctuations and the slow accumulation of damage over time does not lend itself to traditional event based disaster relief programs. NIRPC Chair Michael Griffin selected a small group to draft a letter to the Governor seeking assistance. 

At least partly as a result of NWI’s united approach, the Governor issued Executive Order 20-01 to authorize action including gathering data on damages needed for a potential FEMA assistance request and expediting emergency shoreline projects. Indiana Department of Homeland Security has created an on-line Indiana Lakeshore Reporting Tool.

More information about Lake Michigan Erosion and water levels can be found here .
The COVID-19 pandemic and the protocols being taken to slow down its transmission have been incredibly eye opening. Although we don’t know what the long term effects are, there is an up-side that has come from this global calamity.

We are currently witnessing a nationwide experiment in telecommuting.

For many years, the NIRPC Air Quality Public Education program has promoted telecommuting as one way to reduce traffic congestion, save money on gas, and reduce air pollution.

With the reduction of the number of cars on the road; this reduces overall air pollution and therefore reduces the related environmental and human health impacts associated with it.

To learn more about the environmental benefits of telecommuting, click here
The Indiana Division Office of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration Region V (FTA) issued planning emphasis areas MPOs and rural planning agencies to use in 2021 - 2022 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Development. The new planning emphasis areas are:

  • Updating Planning Roles Responsibilities Cooperating Operating Manual (PRRCOM)
  • Traffic Incident Management
  • Local Road Safety Plans (LRSPs)
  • Participation Plans

Questions related to the planning emphasis areas can be directed to Joyce Newland with FHWA (317-226-5353); or Cecilia Crensha with FTA (317-705-1268).
Meetings are subject to change due to Coronavirus Protocol.
Technical Planning Committee Meeting (Subject to Change)
  • April 7th
  • 10:00 AM
  • Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  • Link for more information
  • Questions? Contact Mitch Barloga at 219-254-2518
  •  Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube
Funding Opportunity!
  • The Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced round 2 of the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant application. The grant is designed to promulgate access to reliable and affordable broadband service.
  • Letters of Intent are due by February 6, 2020.
  • The full application deadline is April 10, 2020
NIRPC Commission/Executive Board Meeting (Subject to Change)
  • April 16th
  • 9:00 AM
  • Lake Michigan Room, 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368
  • Link for more information
  • Questions? Contact Candice Eklund at 219-254-2501
  •  Can’t make it in person? Watch it on YouTube