Pace’s Inaugural Electric Bus Enters Service

Shown, left to right, are Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger; U.S. Senator Dick Durbin; Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski; Illinois State Senator Bill Cunningham; and RTA Board Member Michael Lewis. (Photo courtesy of Pace).

Pace Suburban Bus (Arlington Heights, IL) charged into the future with the debut of its inaugural battery-electric bus. The state-of-the-art Gillig bus is now operational on Route 381 95th Street serving riders in the southwest suburbs, including Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Bridgeview, Hickory Hills, and Palos Hills, and providing connections between the CTA Red Line and Moraine Valley College.

“This significant step toward sustainable transit comes after the bus underwent rigorous testing last year,” according to a press release. “Pace, with its commitment to environmental stewardship as a key priority of the agency’s Driving Innovation strategic vision plan, is actively working to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance air quality in the community. Pace’s ambitious initiative, Project Zero, aims to convert its entire fleet of over 700 buses to zero-emission vehicles by the year 2040.”

“This is a tremendous milestone in our Project Zero initiative,” Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski said. “Already, 22 more electric buses are on order thanks to federal funding. We thank you, Senator Durbin, and the Illinois delegation for your support in this endeavor.”

“By embracing cutting-edge technology, Pace is not just transforming its fleet; it’s catalyzing a broader conversation about the intersection of public transportation and environmental responsibility,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. “Pace’s leadership in embracing clean energy showcases the potential for transformative change, and aligns with our shared vision of propelling our communities toward a greener tomorrow.”

“Pace’s legacy of progress and innovation has led us to this vehicle you see today—which is better for passengers, easier for our bus operators, and cleaner for the environment,” Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger said. “This marks a pivotal moment for Pace and our commitment to sustainable mobility solutions.”

Event speakers included U.S. Senator Dick Durbin; Illinois State Senator Bill Cunningham; RTA Board Member Michael Lewis; Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski; and Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger. Event guests included Illinois State Representative and Mayor of Evergreen Park Kelly M. Burke; members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241; and representatives from Moraine Valley College.

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