Pace was created by the 1983 RTA Act to unify the numerous disparate suburban
bus agencies that existed at that time. In doing so, fares, branding and management
were made consistent throughout the region. On July 1, 1984, the consolidated
agency began operations as the Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation
Authority. A year after that, the brand name 'Pace' was established.
Pace is governed by a 13 member
Board of Directors
comprised of current and former suburban mayors and the Commissioner of the Mayor's
Office for People with Disabilities for the City of Chicago.
For its first few years, Pace focused on the unification efforts and renewing
its bus garages and fleet, but rapid population and employment growth in the suburbs
led to multiple strategic planning and long range planning efforts that took place
in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. In 2002, Pace launched the biggest
transit initiative ever proposed for Chicago's suburbs, called
Vision 2020: Blueprint for the Future.
The innovative plan is creating a faster network that is more convenient and simpler
Accessibility has always been a hallmark of Pace service. Pace provided ''Section
504'' service to people with disabilities several years before this type
of service was required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2006, Pace
had established itself as a leader in providing efficient, quality service to
people with disabilities, and the Illinois legislature designated that Pace would
assume responsibility for ADA paratransit in Chicago from the CTA. The move made
Pace the largest providers of paratransit service in the United States.
Pace established one of the largest vanpool programs in the nation and became
the regional ridesharing administrator for Northeastern Illinois in 2006, bringing
coordination of carpools into the program. PaceRideShare.com is the outlet for
these services, offering commuters the ability to create a profile and gather
information on others with similar travel patterns in order to form carpools or
3,446 square miles, larger than the state of
Delaware and about 15 times the size of the City of Chicago; it covers six counties
- suburban Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will - and 284 municipalities.