IndyConnect

Light Rail in Indiana, Part II

Ben Ross :: Friday, August 20th, 2010
Diagram of Indiana as an steam and interurban light rail center, 1907

Diagram of Indiana as an steam and interurban light rail center, 1907

Indiana’s interurban electric light rail system experienced peak ridership in the mid-1920s with over 50 million passengers per year.  The state’s population was just 3 million at that time, equaling about 16 trips per capita per year.  Interurban service in Indiana was almost entirely shut down during the 10 years between 1930 and 1940, with only the South Shore line remaining in service after 1940.  This comprehensive system of electric transit was replaced by much slower travel in private automobiles over roads which required ever-larger sums of public money to build and maintain.  In his 1961 book The City in History, the prescient historian Lewis Mumford noted:

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Friday, August 20th, 2010 Sustainable Design, Urban Planning No Comments