Pace and RTA Seek Public Input on I-294 Tri-State Market & Facilities Feasibility Study
February 3, 2022
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Following the successful implementation of bus on shoulder operations on portions of I-55, I-90, and I-94, Pace has partnered with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) to evaluate options for Pace express bus operations on the I-294/I-90 corridor from Harvey to Schaumburg with the I-294 Tri-State Market & Facilities Feasibility Study. The ongoing Illinois Tollway Central Tri-State Projectwill incorporate improvements including Flex Lanes, which will be available to Pace buses to avoid congestion, making this primary travel corridor a critical opportunity for Pace. The development of new passenger facilities and supporting Express bus service along this corridor addresses a key initiative of the agency’s strategic vision plan, Driving Innovation, and is also slated to receive funding from the Rebuild Illinois state capital funding.
With the study now complete, Pace and the RTA are now asking for public feedback about the draft recommendations. You may provide your comments by taking their survey. Study recommendations, which can be found in the survey and here, include plans for faster and more reliable express bus service in the study area; expansion of bus service to new or underserved areas within the study area; proposed in-line bus rapid transit (BRT) stations, park-n-rides, roadways improvements, and other infrastructure needed to support this new and improved service; and a plan for implementing these improvements and associated support infrastructure.
“This study gives us the knowledge we need for the thoughtful and equitable implementation of fast, efficient express bus service supported by new inline bus rapid transit stations along I-294. The unprecedented success of Pace’s bus on shoulder service on I-55 and I-90 has proven that when public transportation is fast and reliable, people choose it over personal vehicles. The service will operate safely on the shoulder to bypass congestion while taking cars off the road and be accessed by convenient new stations within the roadway, similar to Barrington Road along I-90. It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Pace Interim Executive Director Melinda Metzger.
“Transit is an irreplaceable piece of the region’s mobility network and projects like this will allow Pace to adapt to the evolving needs of riders and stay competitive in the future,” said RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden. “The RTA is proud to support this project through its Community Planning program, which will improve connections between residents and jobs, education, and other destinations.”
The study’s draft recommendations, which are based on the analysis of existing and future travel patterns in the study area to determine the most promising bus routes, will be updated based on public feedback received from the survey and additional discussions with local community stakeholders. Pace and the RTA will continue coordination with the Tollway and local communities to discuss and refine concepts.
“The Tollway is committed to our successful partnership with Pace, as we continue to look for ways to ensure our capital program maximizes our return on investment,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “This is the type of collaboration that pays economic dividends for the state of Illinois and our regional transportation network.”
Direct link to survey: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/19d7599b50b5412cb406953b96476ef4
Pace Suburban Bus safely and efficiently moves people to work, school, and other regional destinations with its family of public transportation services. Pace offers affordable and environmentally responsible transit options for the residents of 272 municipalities in Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. The backbone of Chicago's suburbs, Pace serves tens of thousands of daily riders. One of the largest bus services in North America, Pace covers 3,677 square miles, an area nearly the size of the state of Connecticut and about 15 times the size of the City of Chicago. Pace's innovative approach to public transportation gives the agency a national reputation as an industry leader.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is the unit of local government created to oversee finances, to secure funding, and to conduct transit planning for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace. The RTA manages these three Service Boards’ five-year capital programs. Also, to help riders with disabilities and older adults across Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties, the agency issues Reduced Fare and Ride Free permits, assesses eligibility for ADA Paratransit service, and oversees specialized travel training. For more, visit www.rtachicago.org.