A Pace route 755 or 855 coach bus heads towards the Damen Avenue on-ramp at the Stevenson Expressway. In the budget, Pace will increase service on these popular routes and build a park-and-ride in the I-55 highway corridor.
In contrast to the noted absence of cooperation at the Regional Transportation Authority, the “overseer” of Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace transit agencies, Pace included in its budget announcement that some of its routes will change to carry passengers who will lose their CTA route on December 16. (CTA and Pace have also partnered to offer Ventra, an open fare payment system that will eliminate magnetic strip fare cards.) Pace will provide service for the following CTA routes:
- 56A/North Milwaukee
- 49A/South Western
- 69/Cumberland-East River
- 81W/ West Lawrence
- 90N/North Harlem
Additionally, Pace will not be changing fares even as it increases service, including on the I-55 Stevenson routes that are allowed to drive on the shoulder during rush hour (in the peak direction) when speeds are lower than 30 MPH. Pace will hold 13 public hearings about the budget; the first is Monday, October 22, from 11 AM to 1 PM, at the Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln, in Chicago.
CBS2 Chicago quoted Pace board member Vernon Squires urging “Pace planners to continue to review the route map with CTA to see where other areas of duplication can be eliminated”. This is the kind of job a regional authority should be doing, but it would be a good exercise for any of the RTA’s three service boards.