Pace Board Of Directors Approve Plans To Reimagine Suburban Transportation Service

Pace’s (Arlington Heights, IL) Board of Directors recently approved several initiatives that reinforce Pace’s continued commitment to moving the agency forward, including a new Rideshare Access Program (RAP) modeled after the City of Chicago Taxi Access Program (TAP) and DuPage Uber Access Program pilot.

This approval allows Pace staff to explore options for providing supplementary service utilizing transportation network companies (TNCs). The RAP program will increase capacity offering a user side subsidy transit option, where Pace will pay up to $30 to all ADA paratransit customers in the six-county region. RAP will allow Pace ADA paratransit customers the option to use rideshare services like Lyft, Uber, UZURV or Via in conjunction with dedicated ADA paratransit services.

Pace’s Board of Directors also approved an ordinance for consulting services for a network revitalization and systemwide restructuring initiative. Pace’s strategic vision plan, Driving Innovation, specifically mentions the need for implementing and innovating fixed-route transit in the highest demand markets, while exploring the potential to harness technology and new or enhanced mobility solutions to provide more effective coverage services in lower-demand areas.

“The unique thing about this program is it’s really looking at the vision of the future of what Pace’s transit services will be and creates opportunities for public input,” Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski said.

“Due to the significant change in travel behavior over the last few years, it is important that we look at our fixed bus route network to reassess how service is provided, and to develop a regional service network based on existing and projected future market demand,” Executive Director Melinda Metzger said. “As transit emerges from the pandemic, it is expected that this process will highlight the demand for more suburban transit service than we offer today.”

A proposal to expand the Round Lake Area On Demand on a pilot basis was also approved. With this expansion pilot, Pace will be able to provide additional flexible weekday service to a larger portion of western Lake County, IL.

“I’m very excited about this project,” Director Linda Soto, who represents Lake County, said. “The Round Lake Area has needed this for some time. [Route 570] is a long route, but it doesn’t serve a lot of pockets of the Round Lake area which have had a big population explosion in the last decade.”

Beginning August 28, Pace will launch a pilot of an expanded Round Lake Area On Demand service that will more than double the size of the existing zone, using multiple vehicles, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. on weekdays only. Passengers will also be able to make additional first-mile and last-mile connections between Pace and Metra, and enjoy improved access to numerous community destinations.

Pace Suburban Bus offers transit options for residents of 274 municipalities in the Illinois counties of Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and McHenry.

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