Pace Bus Expansion

The rapid transit service recently unveiled a proposal to broaden their network of buses. The plan is similar to the I-55 shoulder route, adding similar routes to the I-290, 90 and 94 expressways.

In addition, 24 more corridors would be added onto what they call the arterial rapid transit or “art” lines, opening up more routes between towns like Elgin, McHenry and Naperville.

“We start with local service to get people what’s called “the last mile” between some of the busier streets in the communities and the neighborhoods where people live or maybe to their offices and then we also provide some connections from the larger streets in the area to bigger regional streets and that we would serve with express bus service and that’s actually the core of this plan,” said Patrick Wilmot, Manager of Media Relations for Pace Suburban Bus.

Benefits would include creating jobs within construction and infrastructure development and in the long run helping the region improve access to jobs across the suburbs.

Riders would also be traveling in style, as the new buses are more modern.

“They have high back seats, they recline, we have free Wi-Fi so people can get some work done and be a little more productive while they make the trip, we have luggage racks in the vehicle, there’s map lights if people want to take a nap on the way they can do that, it’s a really comfortable way to travel and people have responded positively to it,” said Wilmot.

The new buses already in place on I-55 have seen a 300% rider increase and on time performance has risen from 67% to about 95%.

Pace is lobbying the federal government for the money needed, hoping to tap into funds earmarked for transportation plans of national or regional significance.

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