Pace (transit)

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Pace Bus logo.svg
Slogan Connecting Communities
Founded 1983
Headquarters Arlington Heights, Illinois
Locale Northeastern Illinois
Service area Cook, Lake, Will, Kane, McHenry, and DuPage Counties
Service type Commuter, Paratransit
Routes 213[1]
Fleet 701 buses
610 vans
366 owned vehicles in paratransit service
80 community vehicles[2]
Fuel type Diesel, Diesel-Electric, CNG
Executive Director T.J. Ross

Pace is the suburban bus division of the Regional Transportation Authority in the Chicago metropolitan area. It was created in 1983 by the RTA Act, which established the formula that provides funding to the CTA, Metra, and Pace. In 2013, Pace had 39.925 million riders.[3]

Pace's headquarters are in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Pace is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, 12 of which are current and former suburban mayors, with the other being the Commissioner of the Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, to represent the city's paratransit riders.[4]

The six counties that Pace serves are Cook, Lake, Will, Kane, McHenry, and DuPage. Some of Pace's bus routes also go to Chicago and Indiana. In some areas, notably Evanston, River Forest, Oak Park, and Skokie, both Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) provide service.

Many of Pace's route terminals are located at CTA rail stations and bus terminals and Metra stations. The CTA and Pace have shared a payment system since 2014 called Ventra. Ventra accounts are required to obtain transfers.[5] Metra fares are completely separated, but a phone app is being developed that may allow Metra payment with Ventra.

Pace buses generally have longer routes than CTA buses. Due to its geographic service area, service is provided by 9 operating divisions, as well as under agreements with several municipalities and private operators (school bus and motor coach companies).

All Pace buses are wheelchair accessible and have racks accommodating two bicycles, available during all hours of operation.

Pace buses provide service from the suburbs to various special events in the city, such as Routes 282 & 779 for Chicago Cubs games, Routes 773, 774 and 775 for Chicago White Sox games, Routes 237, 768, 769 and 776 for Chicago Bears games, Route 222 provides extra service to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont for events scheduled there, Route 284 to Six Flags Great America, Route 387 for events at Toyota Park in Bridgeview,[6] and Route 238 for Northwestern University events at Ryan Field.

Pace is responsible for ADA paratransit service in its service area, and, effective July 1, 2006, for paratransit service in Chicago.[7] Pace also coordinates various Dial-a-Ride projects, usually sponsored by various municipalities and townships.[8] One of the largest is Ride DuPage, sponsored by Du Page County Human Services.[9] Pace states that it is the nation's largest paratransit service provider, providing approximately 17,000 daily trips on paratransit, dial-a-ride and ADvAntage vanpools.[10]

Pace operates a Vanpool Incentive Program, where groups save by commuting together in a van owned and maintained by Pace and driven by one of the participants.[11] There is also a Municipal Vanpool Program, under which Pace provides a van to a municipality, for any public transportation purpose (such as demand response service for senior citizens).[12]

Pace is not an acronym, but a marketing name.[13]

In late 2011, Pace received its first Diesel-Electric Hybrid buses from Orion Bus Industries. These Orion VII 3G buses are the first buses in the Pace fleet to not be powered directly by diesel.

During weekday rush hours, Pace buses are authorized to use the Stevenson Expressway.[14]

The majority of Pace bus routes run daily, morning through early to late evening. Other routes run Monday through Saturday, weekdays only, or weekday rush hours only. The Brookfield Zoo Express bus route runs on weekends during the summer. One route, 352 Halsted, runs 24 hours a day/7 days a week, four routes 390, 392, 395, and 890 run only for weekday UPS shifts.

Pace Bus No. 2682.jpg

Operating divisions[edit]

Municipal operators[edit]

Municipally supported shuttles and "trolley" services[edit]

Other major facilities[edit]

Bus Fleet[edit]

Year Make & Model Length Engine Type Numbers Divisions Notes
2000–2003 Orion
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 6000-6161
(160 buses)
Northwest, Southwest, West
  • Currently Being Retired
  • 6000-6154, 6156-6161 have flip-dot head signs
  • 6155 has LED head sign
2002 MCI
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 6900-6907
(8 buses)
  • Used on routes 755, 850, 851 and 855 as part of weekday rush hour operations on I-55.
2003 NABI
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 6162-6261
(99 buses)
North, North Shore, River, South, West
2003 NABI
35 ft (10.67 m) Diesel 6600-6684
(84 buses)
North, River, South, West
2005 NABI
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 6262-6322
(60 buses)
North Shore, South, West
2006–2010 ElDorado National
EZ-Rider II
30 ft (9.14 m) Diesel 2600-2825
(223 buses)
Dundee, Fox Valley, Heritage, Highland Park, River, Northwest, North Shore, River, Southwest, Village of Niles
2012 ElDorado National
32 ft (9.75 m) Diesel 2826-2829
(4 buses)
Fox Valley
2012 Orion
VII "3rd Generation"
30 ft (9.14 m) Diesel-Electric 2830-2831
(2 buses)
Highland Park
  • Painted in a Green colored livery.
2012–2014 ElDorado National
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 6323-6376, 6392-? Dundee, North Shore, Northwest, Southwest, West
2013 ElDorado National
Axess Suburban
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 6377-6391
(15 buses)
North Shore, River, South
  • Used mainly on routes 610, 877 and 888.
2014 MCI
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 6950-6962
(13 buses)
  • Used on routes 755, 850, 851 and 855 as part of weekday rush hour operations on I-55.
2015–2017 ElDorado National
40 ft (12.19 m) CNG 15500–15590
(91 buses)
  • Delivery in progress
  • First CNG powered buses ordered by Pace.
  • Individual units in a series may be retired or out of service (also, a few units in a mostly retired series might still be operating).
  • No buses with fleet numbers ending in 13 (i.e. 6262-6322 consists of 60 buses, and there is no 6313).
  • Buses delivered in 2005 or later feature the new Pace logo. Starting in 2014, buses delivered in 2003, began receiving the current logo.
  • Some routes operated with paratransit or community vehicles.


  1. ^ Per 2010 proposed Pace budget, which proposes eliminating a number of them.
  2. ^ Per 2010 proposed Pace budget, which does not list any ElDorado 30 foot buses above 2741.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Pace. "Pace Board of Directors". Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  5. ^ "Ventra™ is here, Pace riders" (Press release). Pace. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  6. ^ Pace. "Special Events". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  7. ^ Illinois General Assembly (2005). "Public Act 0370, 94th General Assembly". 
  8. ^ Pace. "Dial-a-ride Service Directory". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  9. ^ DuPage County. "Ride DuPage". 
  10. ^ Pace. Moving Forward (newsletter), July 23, 2010.
  11. ^ Pace. "Vanpool Incentive Program". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  12. ^ Pace. "Municipal Vanpool Program". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  13. ^ Pace. "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  14. ^ "Pace Buses to Ride on Shoulder of I-55". NBC 5 Chicago. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 

External links[edit]