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Unread 08-19-2010, 02:22 PM
 
2 posts, read 8,943 times
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Default Train commute from Munster

I rent in the city and am looking to buy a house in NW Indiana, simply because property taxes anywhere in Illinois are ridiculous, and I don't want to pay over $200,000 for a box of a house. I'm looking in Munster because it looks like its the closest place with a good school district.

I work very close to Millenium Station, so I would want to take the train in. I understand the Hammond and East Chicago stations on the South Shore line would be the closest. I have yet to see them, so how are these stations? I'm guessing a lot of people commute from them, but would I feel comfortable with my wife driving by herself to and catching the train from either of these places?

Also, I've seen that some of the Metra stations cross the border in Illinois, are not much further, particularly Hazel Crest. Any word on the safety of these stations?

Thanks for any help you can give me.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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If you want to live in Munster, the you'd likely use the Hammond station, since it's right up Calumet Ave. The train ride from Hammond to Millenium Station is 40-45 mins. So you're probably looking at about an hour commute one way. Regarding the safety of this station, it's usually pretty crowded, and as long as you or your wife don't walk anywhere outside of the station itself during the night time, you should be totally fine. There are several women who use the Hammond station by themselves who have no security problems.
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Unread 08-19-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I second everything "svillechris" stated. However, I would personally use the E.C. station. Why? It seems better protected and patrolled than the Hammond station and is a lot easier to park in. Glad to hear you are considering Munster! If you need any information regarding the town, just PM me or discuss any questions on any of the boards on this forum! Glad to help!
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Unread 08-19-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
I second everything "svillechris" stated. However, I would personally use the E.C. station. Why? It seems better protected and patrolled than the Hammond station and is a lot easier to park in. Glad to hear you are considering Munster! If you need any information regarding the town, just PM me or discuss any questions on any of the boards on this forum! Glad to help!
Yeah, I think it really all depends on which side of Munster you live on as to whether you go to the Hammond or EC station. I think most living in Munster ride from the Hammond stop, but I can see the reasons why the EC stop is more desirable. You might cost yourself 10 mins or so one way though if you elect the EC stop. Also, if you ever consider the Hegewisch stop, be advised that you have to pay for parking there. I want to say it's either $1.25 or $1.50 per day since it's actually a Metra station. The rest of the South Shore stops including Hammond and EC don't charge anything for parking. I never understood why people closer to Hammond or EC stations picked the train up at Hegewisch, sure you'll pay less for a monthly pass but that'll be eaten up and then some in the parking costs.
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Unread 08-20-2010, 06:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svillechris View Post
Yeah, I think it really all depends on which side of Munster you live on as to whether you go to the Hammond or EC station. I think most living in Munster ride from the Hammond stop, but I can see the reasons why the EC stop is more desirable. You might cost yourself 10 mins or so one way though if you elect the EC stop. Also, if you ever consider the Hegewisch stop, be advised that you have to pay for parking there. I want to say it's either $1.25 or $1.50 per day since it's actually a Metra station. The rest of the South Shore stops including Hammond and EC don't charge anything for parking. I never understood why people closer to Hammond or EC stations picked the train up at Hegewisch, sure you'll pay less for a monthly pass but that'll be eaten up and then some in the parking costs.
I was going to mention that as well! It seems those who have faster access to Indy Blvd. as opposed to Calumet (i.e., people who live in White Oak Estates or Wicker Park Estates) are more likely to take the E.C. train than the Hammond one.
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Unread 08-20-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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As someone who did this commute for four years, a couple notes:

I was closer to EC than Hammond, and shot down Martha to Indy. Its a great route, but the cops watch it like a hawk...as well they should. Its a residential neighborhood. If you take this route, TREAT IT A SUCH.

EC has a "police station"....but no one is there. There are more problems with cars being broken into EC that Hammond.

The chemicals plant south of EC station did something to my car's finish. I was not the only person to notice this.

The EC station has one entrance, and one exit. On rush hours, getting stuck behind some 300 pound Hoosiers, marching down a winding staircase, it gets to you.

The Hammond station is a bit nicer. Multiple exits and entrances. No high rise staircase. The crowd is also a bit nicer, to tell you the truth.

If you use the Hammond station, use Hohman, never Calumet. If Columbia is open after bridge construction, that is hands down the best route.

The Metra stations are an option, but a farther drive, and frankly not as safe. Plus you have to pay to park.

Best of luck on your move. We loved it out in Munster, and is the best kept secret around Chicago.
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Unread 08-20-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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Thank you so much for all your help. You told me what I was hoping to hear. I'll be down in Munster this weekend, checking things out.
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Unread 08-21-2010, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Valparaiso, IN
63 posts, read 82,469 times
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Might I suggest Valpo or Chesterton/Porter? Great schools! Valpo has the Chicago Dash and Chesterton has the train. You can find a great house in that price range and the schools are award winning.
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Unread 08-22-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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Unless you want to drive yourself batty with the commute times, Chesterton and Valpo are a bit too far from Chicago. The Chicago Dash only has 3 buses that run in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. The South Shore to Chesterton takes an hour and 20 mins, compared to just 41 mins to the Hammond station. If I were you, I'd stick with Lake County. The slightly higher taxes than Porter County are well worth it for the proximity to Chicago.
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Unread 08-22-2010, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Valparaiso, IN
63 posts, read 82,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svillechris View Post
Unless you want to drive yourself batty with the commute times, Chesterton and Valpo are a bit too far from Chicago. The Chicago Dash only has 3 buses that run in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. The South Shore to Chesterton takes an hour and 20 mins, compared to just 41 mins to the Hammond station. If I were you, I'd stick with Lake County. The slightly higher taxes than Porter County are well worth it for the proximity to Chicago.

Slightly higher? Significately Higher.
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