Pace expands express bus service on Jane Addams Memorial Tollway


August 12, 20134:00:00 PM
Media Relations Office: (847) 228-4222

First phase of multiyear service expansion on I-90 includes increased service on existing routes

Beginning August 18 and 19, Pace expands or modifies four existing bus routes operating between the Rosemont CTA Blue Line Station and points in the northwest suburbs along the I-90 corridor. Highlights of the new service include non-stop express service between Rosemont and Schaumburg in both directions via Route 600 and a new Park-n-Ride near Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates for express travel to Rosemont via Route 610.

"The Jane Addams Tollway corridor is a major employment destination in our region and our service plan provides new transit options for commuters to this area as well as residents of these communities who work in or near Chicago," said Pace Chairman of the Board Richard Kwasneski. "We've developed an aggressive, multi-year plan in partnership with the Illinois Tollway that includes even more express bus options including plans for Bus on Shoulder or similar operations."

The changes affect four routes:

-Route 600 Northwest Express: all-new bidirectional service and additional express trips between Rosemont and Schaumburg. Trips will now operate every 20 minutes during rush hours.

-Route 606 Northwest Limited: five new trips added to weekday service and schedule adjustments to improve on-time performance.

-Route 610 River Road Prairie Stone Express: New bidirectional service between Rosemont and the Prairie Stone business park in Hoffman Estates including a new, temporary Park-n-Ride with free parking at the Sears Centre Arena.

-Route 895 95th Street Rosemont Schaumburg Express: Schedule adjustments in coordination with the new and expanded Route 600 schedule.

The service enhancements are part of a collaborative effort among Pace, the Illinois Tollway and the RTA. The first phase of service enhancements boosts the number of trips available to commuters as the Tollway is set to begin reconstruction of the portion of the Addams within Pace's service area. The additional service is anticipated to attract commuters who currently drive but will want other options to avoid the hassles of construction-related delays. The enhancements will also help to build a market of riders for future enhancements to the I-90 express bus network. All phases will be implemented over the next few years in conjunction with the reconstruction of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. At that point, the network of express buses will serve Park-n-Rides adjacent to I-90, and riders can connect to and from local bus routes and localized Call-n-Ride services for on-demand trip requests available to the general public. These final plans call for Bus on Shoulder operations, use of a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane or a similar alternative to reduce travel times and improve on-time performance with the goal of improving ridership. The Bus on Shoulder Pilot Project on I-55 affects routes 755 and 855 connecting Chicago with the southwest suburbs. Comparing ridership figures for June, 2013, with June, 2011 (prior to the November, 2011, launch of the Bus on Shoulders program), Route 755 has improved by 391% and Route 855 by 110%. On-time performance has risen on both routes from 68% prior to the pilot project to ranging between roughly 91-93%.

The first phase of service enhancements is funded in part by a federal Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) grant administered by the RTA. Future phases will be funded by the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) grant administered by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).

The changes to Route 606 are effective beginning Sunday, August 18 and on the remaining routes starting Monday, August 19. Previews of the new schedules for each of the routes are available to customers on in the Passenger Notices section.

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