Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Pace (transit)

Pace is the suburban bus division of the Regional Transportation Authority in the Chicago metropolitan area. It was created in 1983 by the RTA Act, which established the formula that provides funding to CTA, Metra and Pace. In 2010, Pace had 35.077 million riders.

Pace's headquarters are in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Pace is governed by a 13 member Board of Directors, 12 of which are current and former suburban mayors, with the other being the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, to represent the city's paratransit riders.

The six counties that Pace serves are Cook, Lake, Will, Kane, McHenry and DuPage. Some of Pace's buses also go to Chicago and Indiana. In some areas, notably Evanston and Skokie, Pace and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) both serve the community.

Many of Pace's hubs are located at CTA rail stations (especially terminals) and Metra stations. CTA and Pace transit cards are valid on Pace, but Pace cards and passes are not valid on the CTA. Additionally, since CTA no longer issues transfers with cash bus fares, it no longer accepts Pace transfers, either, but Pace transfers remain good between Pace routes. Pace honors some, but not all CTA passes; CTA and Pace have established a new joint 7-day pass, in substitution for the CTA 7-day pass, which Pace no longer accepts. Metra fares are completely separate.

Pace buses generally have longer headways (often between 20 and 60 minutes) than CTA buses. Due to its broad geographic service area, service is provided by 9 operating divisions, as well as under agreements with several municipalities and private operators (school bus and motor coach companies).

All Pace buses are wheelchair accessible and have racks accommodating two bicycles, available during all hours of operation.

Pace buses provide service from the suburbs to various special events in the city, such as Routes #282 & #779 for Chicago Cubs games, Routes #773, #774 and #775 for Chicago White Sox games, Routes #237, #768, #769 and #776 for Chicago Bears games, Route #222 provides extra service to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont for events scheduled there, Route #284 to Six Flags Great America, and Route #387 for events at Toyota Park in Bridgeview.

Pace is responsible for ADA paratransit service in its service area, and, effective July 1, 2006, for paratransit service in Chicago.Pace also coordinates various Dial-a-Ride projects, usually sponsored by various municipalities and townships. One of the largest is Ride DuPage, sponsored by Du Page County Human Services. Pace states that it is the nation's largest paratransit service provider, providing approximately 17,000 daily trips on paratransit, dial-a-ride and ADvAntage vanpools.

Pace operates a Vanpool Incentive Program, where groups save by commuting together in a van owned and maintain by Pace and driven by one of the participants. There is also a Municipal Vanpool Program, under which Pace provides a van to a municipality, for any public transportation purpose (such as demand response service for senior citizens).

Pace is not an acronym, but a marketing name.

In late 2011, Pace recevied its first Diesel-Electric Hybrid buses from Orion Bus Industries. These Orion VII NG buses are the first buses in the Pace fleet to not be powered directly by Diesel.