Pace And Congresswoman Celebrate Community Project Funding For Electric Bus

Pictured, left to right, are U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski, and Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger. (Photo courtesy of Pace)

Pace Suburban Bus recently welcomed Congresswoman Lauren Underwood to its Heritage Division in Plainfield, IL, to celebrate Community Project Funding secured by the congresswoman for the purchase of an electric bus for use in the agency’s I-55 express bus service.

The $826,779 in funding will be put toward a new electric coach bus to serve passengers boarding in Plainfield and other southwest suburbs as they travel to downtown Chicago.

“Pace Suburban Bus serves tens of thousands of riders, including seniors, those with disabilities, and veterans receiving care from the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Congresswoman Underwood said. “The project will help fight climate change in our community, reduce traffic on I-55, strengthen Illinois’ suburban transit system, and help reduce health risks associated with air pollution.”

This funding helps Pace meet its Project Zero commitment to transitioning to a zero-emission fleet by 2040. The agency has received both an electric fixed-route bus and an electric paratransit bus, with another 22 electric buses on order. Charging stations have been installed at multiple garages, but the work to secure funding for this transition continues.

“Pace’s congressional delegation has been a significant factor in support of this electrification effort,” Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski said. “In order to convert our fleet and all 10 Pace garages into charging facilities that can charge 50-100 buses all at once overnight, nearly $2 billion in new capital funding is needed.”

“I-55 bus-on-shoulder service is one of the most successful endeavors in Pace history and is just one of many innovations that Pace has brought to northeastern Illinois in our 40-year history,” Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger added. “These grants will allow Pace to improve transit service for riders across the six-county region while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

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