October 10, 2012 5:00:00 PM
Media Relations Office: (847) 228-4222

No planned service reductions or fare increases; public hearings announced

The Pace Board of Directors officially released the agency's 2013 proposed budget for public comment. Overall, the budget provides a favorable outlook for riders concerned about fares and service levels. Plans call for fares and service levels to remain steady for 2013 and for Pace to add new service in some areas during the year.

The proposed operating budgets for Suburban Services (encompassing fixed route bus service, vanpool, Call-n-Ride and non-ADA Dial-A-Ride service) and regional ADA paratransit total $344 million for 2013. The budget includes expansion of the I-55 Bus on Shoulders service and additional service on I-90 in conjunction with the Illinois Tollway's reconstruction project. Additional local service in Lake County and restructuring existing service in the Aurora area are also budgeted. Specifics will be forthcoming on these projects as the planning process moves forward. "We've worked hard to control expenses in recent years, and now we're poised to add service in response to growing demand as the local economy improves and jobs are created," said Pace Chairman of the Board Richard Kwasneski. The lone proposed fare change outlined in the budget will be a proposed $27 surcharge on vanpool fares only for vanpools originating in Indiana to cover the cost of tolls incurred on the Indiana Toll Road and the Skyway.

The capital program for Suburban Services is estimated to be roughly $111 million. The majority will be spent on rolling stock, including buses fueled by compressed natural gas as the agency transitions toward alternative fuels.

The figures in the preliminary report are based on funding marks set earlier in the day by the RTA Board. Pace's marks were affected by a reduction by roughly $800,000 of discretionary operating funds from the originally estimated allocation to Pace of $4.5 million. To account for this change, funds will be transferred from the agency's capital budget to the operating budget. "We're disappointed that our discretionary funding was reduced from all of the prior proposals we had received from the RTA," said Kwasneski. "We will make the necessary adjustments to our budget to ensure that this does not negatively impact our riders."

As in prior years, Pace will hold 13 regional public hearings on the proposed budget.

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City of Chicago (North) Public Hearing

Monday, October 22

11:00 am 1:00 pm

Sulzer Regional Library

4455 N. Lincoln

Chicago, IL 60625

McHenry County Public Hearing

Monday, October 22

4:30 pm 5:30 pm

Crystal Lake Municipal Complex - Council Chambers

100 W. Woodstock St.

Crystal Lake, IL 60014

City of Chicago (West) Public Hearing

Tuesday, October 23

2:00 pm 4:00 pm

Garfield Park Conservatory - Community Room

300 N. Central Park Ave.

Chicago, IL 60624

Will County Public Hearing

Tuesday, October 23

4:00 pm 6:00 pm

Joliet Public Library - Meeting Rm. B (second level)

150 N. Ottawa St.

Joliet, IL 60432

North Cook County

Public Hearing

Wednesday, October 24

4:00 pm 6:00 pm

Pace Headquarters - Board Room

550 W. Algonquin Road

Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Southwest Cook County Public Hearing

Wednesday October 24

4:30 pm -- 6:30 pm

Worth Village Hall - Board Room

7112 W. 111th St.

Worth, IL 60482

West Cook County Public Hearing

Thursday, October 25

4:00 pm 6:00 pm

Howard Mohr Community Center

7640 Jackson Blvd.

Forest Park, IL 60130

Kane County Public Hearing

Thursday, October 25

4:30 pm -- 6:30 pm

Kane County Government Center

Auditorium, Ground Floor

719 S. Batavia Ave

Geneva, IL 60134

Lake County Public Hearing

Monday, October 29

4:00 pm 6:00 pm

Waukegan Public Library - Bradbury Room

128 N. County Street

Waukegan, IL 60085

DuPage County Public Hearing

Monday, October 29

5:00 pm 7:00 pm

College of DuPage - SRC 2000 Conference Room

425 Fawell Blvd.

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

City of Chicago (Southwest) Public Hearing

Tuesday, October 30

3:00 pm 5:00 pm

Arturo Velasquez Westside Tech. Inst.

2800 S. Western Ave.

Chicago, IL 60608

South Cook County Public Hearing

Tuesday, October 30

4:30 pm 6:30 pm

Homewood Village Hall - Board Room

2020 Chestnut Rd.

Homewood, IL 60430

City of Chicago (South)

Public Hearing

Wednesday, October 31

7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Olive Harvey College - Cafeteria

10001 S. Woodlawn

Chicago, IL 60628

More information regarding this press release.

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