Pace fleet equipped with easy-to-use bike racks

Equipping buses with bike racks is another way Pace has made public transportation a convenient option for both work commutes and recreational trips. Pace completed that project by having a rack on most fixed-route buses in the suburbs by 2002.

The program, spearheaded by former Executive Director T.J. Ross, stemmed from a realization that many northeastern Illinois residents don't live or work within walking distance of a bus route, but being able to put their bike on a bus gives them a way to utilize public transit. Ross initiated the bike-rack program in 2000 after successfully implementing such a project at the Phoenix Transit System in Arizona, where he worked for more than 20 years before coming to Pace in 1998. Ross knew the racks could also become popular in the Chicago area if given the chance.

Pace bicycle racks are used by hundreds of riders each month, which expands the range of destinations they can reach by transit within a reasonable amount of time.

The Pace bike rack is attached to the front bumper of the bus, and remains folded vertically against the bus when not in use. The lightweight rack can be pulled down into a horizontal position to carry two bikes, which are easily secured by the bike riders. The tires fit into slots, while a spring-loaded support arm is pulled over the front tire. The bikes sit across the front of the bus, and the process of securing or removing a bike takes only seconds. Riders use the bike racks for free.

Pace operates more than 200 bus routes throughout Chicago's suburbs, making connections to hundreds of employment sites, shopping centers, recreational areas and bicycle paths.

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