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Chicago's Pace Wants to Put More Buses on the Highway

In a city where bus ridership has been declining for years, Pace has found success on the expressway.
January 18, 2019, 1pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Chicago's suburban public transit service, Pace, has seen growing ridership on its bus on shoulder expressway routes.
Ken Lund

Pace’s bus ridership is down 3% year over year, but its service on expressways continues to grow. "The good news is that some routes are doing great — specifically, the long-haul, express service on interstates 55 and 90," Mary Wisniewski reports for the Chicago Tribune. These routes have seen the speeds of their buses improve with infrastructure improvements on the toll ways and with more frequency. "The service on I-55 started in 2011 with 400 people daily, and is now at 3,000," Wisniewski reports.

Pace officials would like to continue to grow the service but say they need capital to continue the momentum. "To grow its express routes and make other improvements, Donahue said Pace need Springfield to pass a capital bill, which it hasn’t done in 10 years," Wisniewski writes. Illinois' previous governor, Bruce Rauner, was not willing to pass a capital bill. Transit advocates hope the new governor, J. B. Pritzker, will be more amenable to the idea.

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Published on Monday, January 14, 2019 in Chicago Tribune
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