Officials Unveil First Pulse Dempster Line Station In Des Plaines, IL, Before ‘Sneak Peek’ Service Starts

Left: Officials unveil the real-time information marker at the first Pulse Dempster Line station in Des Plaines. Right (L-R): Des Plaines Mayor Andrew Goczkowski; Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger; Pace Director Bill McLeod; Illinois State Senator Laura Murphy; Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski; Pace Director David Guerin; and Pace Director Chris Canning.

State and local officials joined Pace Suburban Bus (Arlington Heights, IL) leadership in downtown Des Plaines, IL, to showcase the first completed bus station along the new and innovative Pulse Dempster Line.

The Pulse Dempster Line is Pace’s latest service innovation that provides faster bus service with limited stops, accessible trip information, and modern amenities. Riders can take trips every 15 minutes most of the day when the service fully launches. Each Pulse bus that operates along the line comes equipped with advanced transit signal priority (TSP) technology that extends green lights and minimizes red lights to help Pace riders conquer congestion.

The station unveiling in Des Plaines also kick-started Pace’s “sneak peek” service of the Pulse Dempster Line. Starting August 13, riders can use the newest Pulse line on Sundays only and experience the increased service and stylish purple Pulse buses — equipped with Wi-Fi and USB charging ports — before full daily service begins later this year.

Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski opened the event by acknowledging the many partners and individuals who collaborated to make this innovative service improvement in the northwest suburbs a reality, including Illinois State Representative Marty Moylan for his support of this project. He also thanked Illinois Senator Laura Murphy and Des Plaines Mayor Andrew Goczkowski for sharing remarks and helping Pace mark the opening of the new station.

“Pace is proud of our region’s investment in transit infrastructure in the northwest suburbs. It has made it possible for Pace to introduce this efficient and reliable service,” Chairman Kwasneski said. “This is yet another example of how our region’s service boards collaborate and complement each other. Pulse truly creates a network of access across our region.”

Pace Directors Chris Canning, Bill McLeod, and David Guerin, who represent the communities that the Pulse Dempster Line will serve, also attended the station unveiling. Other guests included representatives from U.S. Rep Raja Krishnamoorthi’s office, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley’s office, Illinois State Representative Michelle Mussman’s office, the Northwest Municipal Conference, Des Plaines City Hall, and the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce.

Pace Director Chris Canning emphasized the importance of collaboration that helped Pace launch its second-ever Pulse line. The start of the Pulse Dempster Line follows the opening of the Pulse Milwaukee Line in 2019. Canning said the Pulse Dempster Line could not have happened without the support and partnership of Des Plaines, Evanston, Skokie, Morton Grove, Niles, Park Ridge, and Rosement.

Pulse Dempster service will travel along Dempster Street between Evanston and O’Hare International Airport, offering connections along the way to other Pace and CTA bus routes, the CTA Yellow and Purple lines, as well as to Metra’s Union Pacific North, Northwest, and North Central Service rail lines. Passengers will be able to get from Evanston to O’Hare in approximately 50 minutes, saving time over current Pace service.

During the event, Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger shared how the new Pulse Dempster Line represents Pace’s latest service innovation at a time when the future of transit remains uncertain following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pace has worked tirelessly to maintain existing service and spearhead many innovative changes that can help riders meet their post-pandemic travel needs,” she said. “Over the past two years, Pace has launched new transit options like VanGo and partnerships with ride-share companies like the DuPage Access Program and Pace Connect to increase service capacity and provide riders with more flexible connections. Pace also has leveraged new technologies to simplify trip planning and incorporate all of Pace’s transportation services under one easy-to-use app called Transit.”

The Pulse Dempster Line harnesses many of the same innovative technologies, Metzger said, before she helped unveil a unique feature of the Pulse station in Des Plaines — a real-time information station marker that displays up-to-the-minute arrival times for Pace riders.

“Collaboration has been an integral part of achieving these goals. That includes collaboration with our communities, with our sister agencies, and colleagues at Metra, CTA, RTA, CMAP, and, most importantly, with those we serve. We are grateful for our partners, and I look forward to seeing what we achieve together in the coming years,” Metzger said. “Life is good in Des Plaines, and we at Pace will continue to make it better for residents and riders.”

Pace encourages riders to share their experiences and help ensure Pace can best meet the needs of communities. Riders also can visit the Pulse Dempster Line route page on Pace’s website to learn more about this innovative service.

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