Pace is earnestly attempting to provide public transportation in an efficient and effective manner at the lowest possible cost. Pace′s public bidding procedures are designed to help achieve that goal. It is the duty and responsibility of the Chief Procurement Officer to act as Pace′s authorized Purchasing Agent.
This document contains information designed to help you sell your materials and services to Pace. We are interested in any comments you may have about these procedures to aid in our constant effort to improve our procurement function.
We hope that this information will be of use to you and/or your organization and that it may promote a long and mutually beneficial business relationship with Pace. Please contact the Department Managers of Large Purchases and Small Purchases if you have any questions about the information provided or the procurement process.
Chief Procurement Officer
Copies of bid documents are here.
For information about the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, contact the
DBE Liaison Office.
This page explains how you may participate in contracts for capital and operational products and services for Pace totaling approximately $250,000,000 annually. It is designed to help current and prospective manufacturers, dealers or contractors understand Pace′s purchasing process. There is additional information contained here.
What Pace Buys
The demand generated by the operation of approximately 800 fixed route buses, 500 paratransit buses, 800 vanpool vehicles, 155 staff vehicles, Pace headquarters, and 11 facilities and the related support equipment and maintenance needed to keep these vehicles and the facilities operating efficiently and effectively requires constant research and sourcing to acquire the various items essential to our operation. The purchase of these materials, supplies and services is a major function of the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer. Your company may be in a position to provide some of our many requirements. We publish our procurements, Invitations for Bids (IFB) and Requests for Proposals (RFP), as well as bid results on our website.
Where Pace Buys
All purchasing is accomplished centrally. The office of the Chief Procurement Officer is located at Pace′s Arlington Heights Headquarters. Bid Documents may be picked up at this location, sent to you, and are also available for download from our website. The business hours of the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer are 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.
Although centralized, the purchasing of "bus" parts and services is conducted by Small Purchases staff. Maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies are purchased locally through each facility. These "buys" are conducted under informal bidding procedures using email or telephone quotes or written quotations and are limited in value to less than $250,000. Suppliers interested to bid with Pace, may register here.
How Pace Buys
The regulations governing Pace′s purchases and sales transactions state that, with few exceptions, all purchase orders or contracts exceeding two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) for all services, rolling stock, the purchase or sale of materials or equipment and construction at $40,000, shall be accomplished by free and open competitive bidding. This type of purchasing is called a "Formal Procurement” that requires a structured process using the Invitation for Bids and Request for Proposals methods.
So that Pace will be able to manage with its daily needs, the regulations provide for alternative procurement methods other than an advertised "Formal Procurement."
1. If the purchase orders or contracts involve amounts of less than two-hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), such purchase orders or contracts may be accomplished in the open market after solicitation of quotes in writing or electronically. This method is called "Informal Bidding," and is referred to as a "small purchases".
2. Contracts which, by their nature, are inconsistent with competitive bidding such as utility services, real estate or proprietary Information Technology, may be awarded directly without competitive bidding by the Chief Procurement Officer or their designee (contracts under $150,000) or after approval by Pace's Board (contracts more than $150,000).
3. In the case of an emergency, declared by the Executive Director, which affects the operations of Pace, contracts may be executed to the extent necessary to respond to the emergency without "Formal Advertisement" or Competition. Pace′s Board is notified by the Executive Director of the emergency.
Pace maintains a vendor file for each commodity or service for all procurements. From these files, Pace will send a notification of solicitation to representative firms that may be interested in bidding on the commodity or service. These solicitations occur for both Formal and Informal procurements.
Your firm′s name will be placed in our vendor file after completion and submission of the Vendor Application which is available on Pace′s website. Please complete the form in its entirety including all commodity codes that pertain to your business. You may also contact Pace′s Procurement Office at 847-228-2479 to provide your company information.
The process of purchasing by formal advertising is initiated by Pace. An Invitation for Bid (IFB), or Request for Proposal (RFP) is published in an English language daily newspaper of general circulation, currently the Chicago Sun-Times.
Notice of the IFB or RFP is posted on the Active Solicitations page.
Specifications/Scopes of Services
A detailed specification or scope of service will accompany each IFB or RFP. Please read it carefully. It is a formal statement of Pace′s needs.
Trade or brand names may be used in the specification for additional identification only. An "or equal" may be allowed unless indicated to the contrary and/or if previously approved for use.
When Pace requires a change to a previously submitted IFB or RFP that needs to be clarified or corrected, addenda may be issued against an IFB or an RFP. These are sent to every firm that has received the solicitation, as soon as the need for interpretation or modification is required.
Disadvantaged and Small Business Enterprise Program
See information about Pace's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program here.
The Bid and/or Proposal
If you can supply the commodity or service requested in the solicitation, your next step is to prepare your bid/proposal and fill out the information required in the bid or proposal package Please be sure that your bid or proposal is fully and correctly completed and that it is properly signed by an authorized individual as required by the solicitation. The solicitation response must be typed or written in ink.
Submitting the Bid/Proposal
The entire solicitation issued by Pace will be part of the contract if your are the responsive, responsible bidder/proposer. Pace will provide in each solicitation, the instructions to the bidder/proposer what must be submitted with the bid/proposal. Pace requires bid/proposal submissions to be electronic and each solicitation will provide the date and time when the bid/proposal is due. Public bid openings will be conducted via Teams meeting.
Purchases that are projected to be less than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) are conducted by solicitation of written quotes or electronically.
Quotes must be typed or written in ink and signed by an authorized employee of the company. The request for quote (RFQ) is then returned to the Pace by the time and date specified. If the quote is the lowest responsive and responsible quote, Pace will issue a purchase order which is the contract to deliver. If you are unable to provide a quote, indicate "No Bid" on the quotation form, and return the quote documents to Pace.
Rejection of Bids/Proposals
Pace reserves the right to accept any bid/proposal or any part or parts thereof or to reject any and all bids/proposals.
Although our contracts ask for delivery of products or services on or before an indicated date, Pace reserves the right to accept later delivery if justified by the Contractor or is in the best interest of Pace. Vendors should note that Pace has many facilities spread across northeastern Illinois and the delivery address may vary depending upon which Pace department is buying the product.
Pace does not have a centralized receiving department. As a result, free on board (F.O.B.) destination is required, meaning the seller transfers ownership of the goods to the buyer. If F.O.B. is other than final destination or delivered, shipping charges must be shown as part of quotation.
If a discount for prompt payment of invoices is offered, such discount will NOT be considered in the evaluation of bids unless otherwise specified. They may, however, be applied to the payment if the discount offered is for payment of invoices in fifteen (15) days or more. Discounts for less than fifteen (15) days are not considered. Pace requires a minimum of fifteen (15) days for processing bills from time of receipt of materials, service or invoice, whichever is latest.
Payment of Invoices
All invoices shall be addressed to Accounts Payable. An invoice will be processed for payment when notice has been received by the Accounting Department that the goods or services have been received, have been inspected and found to be as ordered.
Invoices must be sent to:
Pace, Suburban Bus Division of the RTA
Attention: Accounts Payable
550 West Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-4412
Invoices MUST bear the contract number and change order number as issued. Invoices must not cover more than one order number.
Notice of Acceptance of Bid
The successful bidder/proposer will receive notice of acceptance of their bid/proposal. On awards over two-hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), acceptance notice is provided within ninety (90) days of bid opening or one hundred and eighty (180) days of receipt of proposals. Awards under two-hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) are given notice within sixty (60) days. Bid deposits are returned to the unsuccessful bidders as soon as a determination is made. Bid tabulations and award results are published on Pace’s website.
Bidders Responsibility Record
Vendors whose performance on Pace contracts is unsatisfactory may be subject to suspension from the bidder′s list and may be refused the right to any future Pace purchase orders or contracts.
Bid Opening or Receipt of Proposals Time
All reference to the hour of bid opening or receipt of proposals is the prevailing time in Chicago, Standard or Daylight Savings Time as the case may be.
Results of Bids/Proposals
This information is available on Pace′s Awarded Bids page.
Inspection by Pace
All merchandise purchased by Pace is subject to inspection. Some specifications may contain a section stating the type of inspection necessary and to whom the test reports are to be sent.
Buying from Pace
Scrap and obsolete equipment generated by the operation of Pace is a valuable resource and is sold through competitive bidding procedures. The Chief Procurement Officer has the responsibility for disposing all scrap and surplus materials and equipment owned by Pace.
The procedure for the sale of salvage materials follows the same procedure as for the purchase of material. All sales are made after full and open competitive bidding among potential buyers. Notice of the sale of salvage material is provided to firms who are in this business.
All material should be inspected prior to the submission of bids. Sales are "as is, where is, without warranty or guarantee." The location and hours of the inspection are stipulated on each bid invitation.
The Law Governing Pace Purchases and Sales
The Procurement Department is the interface between Pace requirements and suppliers of the materials, equipment and services, and conducts its acquisitions in accordance with the Pace Procurement Rules and Regulations, adopted by Pace Ordinance SBD No.19-59 (or as amended). Additionally, Pace must conduct its procurements under the rules and regulations of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Circular 4220.1F (or as amended), the Regional Transportation Authority Act, and all other applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
Contact Pace's Office of the Chief Procurement Officer
Contact information here.
Doing Business with CTA, Metra, and RTA
If you are interested in bidding on CTA, Metra or RTA contracts, please visit their websites by clicking any of the buttons below. Each agency has its own Procurement site and business procedures.
Note: Non-Purchasing information/phone numbers are available here.