NEW Digital Bus Arrival Countdown Signs
Pace is in the process of installing dozens of electronic signs that continually
display bus arrival times (or departure times, if located at the beginning
of a bus route). Using the same GPS tracking technology that powers Pace's
Bus Tracker and the text messaging services, these signs show in real time
any arrivals or departures within the next 60 minutes, and count down to the
bus’s predicted arrival or departure.
Thus far, the signs have been installed at several locations that have
lots of bus passenger activity. Over the course of the next few years, more
signs will be added at bus stop shelters and transit centers throughout Pace’s
six-county service area. The signs are manufactured and installed by Nexus
Each sign lists the route number, the route’s destination, and the number
of minutes until arrival (or departure). When the next bus is more than 30
minutes away, the sign instead shows the arrival time instead of the number
of minutes before arrival. The shelters which house these new digital signs
also have paper maps and schedules posted in display windows, for customers
who seek additional information about the bus routes that serve that location.
The new Ventra app, available for Apple or Android phones, provides real-time
transit information for Pace, CTA and Metra services. Download it to your
phone today to track your buses and trains, as well as ensure your Ventra
Card always has a pass or adequate transit value loaded. See the
for more information.
Real-Time Bus Arrival Text Messaging Service
Pace customers can now get real-time information about when the next bus
is arriving at their stop by simply sending a text message (or “SMS”) with
a mobile phone.
How do I get the next bus arrival time?
Type “41411” as the phone number to which you are sending a text message.
Then, in the body of the message, type “Pace”, then a space, then the code
number you see on the bus stop sign. When you send that text message, a bounceback
message should come to your phone in a matter of seconds. That message will
look like this:
The first time you use the service, you’ll get an introductory message
saying “Welcome to Pace.” Please be assured Pace won’t spam you with text
messages. You will only get real-time bus arrival information when you request
it with a text message that you send.
How do I know the code number for my bus stop?
The easiest way to determine the code number for your bus stop is to see
it on the bus stop sign.
Please note that Pace is in the process of posting code numbers on tens
of thousands of bus stop signs. It may be quite a while before every bus stop
sign has a code number on it.
If the bus stop sign at which you regularly board does not yet have a code,
you can use the Pace website to look up the real-time bus arrival information
for your stop and, at the same time, obtain the code number which you can
use for future reference:
- Visit the accessible version of
select your bus route, direction of travel, and your chosen bus stop, and
the web page will display the next 3 predicted times for a bus to arrive
at that location.
- While on that page (which is displaying the predicted arrival times),
look at the address bar (also called “URL bar”) at the top of your web browser.
The URL displayed there has a 3-to-5-digit number at the very end of it.
That number is the stop identification code number. It can be typed into
a text message in the manner described above to get information about that
particular bus stop.
How does this program work?
Because every bus is tracked with GPS technology at all times, Pace’s “Intelligent
Bus System” can make predictions about when any bus will be at any particular
location. The predictions are made by a computer program Pace uses to gather
all kinds of data about its on-time performance, ridership counts, and where
riders get on and off buses. These data help Pace planners improve bus routes
and schedules. The bus arrival time predictions are calculated using a bus’s
location at that instant, as well its current speed and distance from where
it is now to where you are waiting for it. These predictions aren’t always
perfect but are based on a thoroughly tested prediction algorithm.
How else can I find arrival times for my bus route?
In addition to this text messaging service, there are several ways riders
can find out when a bus will be arriving at any particular stop in the Pace
Bus Tracker: Since 2002, Pace has displayed on
its website real-time bus arrival predictions at thousands of locations along
nearly every bus route. Visit
Bus Tracker, select your
bus route, direction of travel, and your chosen but stop, and the web page
will display the next 3 predicted times for a bus to arrive at that location.
Bus Tracker Live Map: Pace’s Bus Tracker also
displays a “Live
Map” on which you can see where buses are located in real time. To use
this feature, choose Google or Bing from the “Maps” drop-down menu, and then
select a Pace route. Then, you can choose to display the vehicles, the major
stops, and/or the minor stops using the “on”/”off” buttons above the map.
If you click on one of the pins (which correspond to each bus stop), the system
displays the next three arrival times of buses in each direction.
Email: Within the Bus Tracker section of pace’s
website, create an account
to manage what type of information you want to receive. Once you have created
an account or logged in to your existing account, you can subscribe to an
email which alerts you to the arrival time of your chosen bus route at your
chosen stop on that particular day. For instance, if you leave work around
5:00pm every day and ride Route 711 to your home, you can subscribe to an
email that is sent to you every day at 4:55pm, detailing the predicted arrival
times of (for instance) the southbound Route 711 bus at Gary Avenue and Elk
Trail. The arrival times in the email are based on what the bus is doing at
that exact moment the email is sent to you. Your subscription can be configured
to only send the emails on certain days of the week and only at certain times
QR code: Many Pace shelters contain a “quick
response” (QR) code posted on the wall of the shelter. If you have a web-enabled
phone and you have downloaded a QR code scanning app (which are free to download),
you can scan the QR code and be taken to the Bus Tracker page on PaceBus.com
which displays the real-time bus arrival data for that particular bus stop
at that time.
By scanning this QR code, you save the time and hassle of having to navigate
multiple web pages on your smartphone to select your bus route, your direction
of travel, and your current location. The code posted in that shelter has
all that information in it, so all you do is scan the code to see the correct
information for the bus you are intending to ride.
Neither Pace, nor its contractor, Trapeze, make any claims regarding the
accuracy of its predicted arrival times. The user assumes the entire risk
related to his/her use of any and all information on PaceBus.com and Pace’s
text messaging service. Pace provides such information "as is,"
and Pace disclaims any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including
(without limitation) any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness
for a particular purpose. Under no circumstances will Pace (or its directors,
officers, employees, or agents) be liable for the accuracy, quality or reliability
of any of the bus arrival predictions or other data presented here. In no
event will Pace be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect,
incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting
from any use or misuse of these data.