Pace Celebrates 50-Minute Trips Between Evanston, IL, And O’Hare With Pulse Dempster Line Ribbon Cutting

Pictured, left to right, are: Pace Director Chris Canning; Pace Director David Guerin; Cook County Commissioner Josina Morita; Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen; Cook County Commissioner Maggie Trevor; Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski; Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger; Senator Ram Villivalam; Pace Director Linda Soto; and Representative Michelle Mussman. (Image courtesy of Pace)

Pace, which serves 274 municipalities in Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties in northeastern Illinois, welcomed state, county, and local leaders to celebrate the launch of the newest addition to Pace’s growing rapid transit network, the Pulse Dempster Line. The service began daily operations on October 29.

Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski welcomed guests and noted, “Ridership is already up approximately 7% compared to last year, a promising statistic which shows that faster, more frequent service is a key part of bringing riders back to transit and attracting new passengers.”

Pulse provides premium bus service with limited stops and modern stations. Pulse Dempster’s purple-branded buses will run every 15 to 20 minutes, ensuring riders along Dempster Street, in the northern Chicago suburbs, will reach destinations from Evanston, IL, to O’Hare International Airport more quickly.

“As you arrived (for the ribbon cutting), you may have stopped for a photo on our purple carpet. This is part of our marketing campaign for Pulse Dempster called ‘Catching Greens,’ a nod to the service’s use of Transit Signal Priority (TSP) technology to shorten red lights and lengthen green lights,” Pace Director Chris Canning said. “This means riders of Pulse buses will truly catch more greens, reducing trip times up to 15 minutes for passengers travelling between Evanston and O’Hare.”

TSP technology has been shown to reduce bus travel times in major cities throughout the country. In general, this innovative technology has helped reduce bus travel times up to 10 percent and reduce congestion up to 50 percent at certain intersections, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. TSP is also deployed on other high-traffic corridors for the benefit of Pace buses throughout the region.

“Commuting patterns have changed dramatically post-pandemic, and adjusting to those changes, particularly in the suburbs, can be challenging. I am proud to say that Pace has embraced that challenge by making tremendous progress on the implementation of innovative, efficient, and flexible service options to serve current riders and attract new riders to the system,” Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger said.

Pulse Dempster buses come equipped with modern amenities for passengers on board, including free Wi-Fi service, as well as easy-to-find branded stations with heated shelters and real-time bus tracker information. Pulse Dempster also improves ADA accessibility, featuring raised bus platforms at all stations that melt ice and snow during inclement weather.

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