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Valparaiso finalizes fare hikes for ChicaGO Dash, South Shore Connect

Valpo Transit

Fares are going up for two Valparaiso bus services. The city's board of works last week finalized fare hikes for the ChicaGO Dash and South Shore Connect buses.

Starting September 1, the single-ride ChicaGO Dash ticket will go from eight to nine dollars, a 10-ride ticket from $70 to $80 and a monthly pass from $230 to $250 dollars. The fare for the South Shore Connect bus will double to two dollars.

Transit Director Beth Shrader said the goal is to keep the service economically sustainable, amid rising costs. "In my estimation, doing it now when ridership is low makes it an easier pill to swallow than maybe five years from now, when, hopefully, we're back up to where we were pre-pandemic or better," Shrader added.

Meanwhile, the board of works also agreed to settle a lawsuit against the previous ChicaGO Dash operator. City Attorney Patrick Lyp said the city sued Free Enterprise Systems back in 2015, when Valparaiso's previous transit director believed the company wasn't keeping up with the maintenance of the buses. Now, Free Enterprise has agreed to pay the city $45,000 dollars and forego the $60,000 dollars in payments the city withheld at the time.