L-R: Pace Director Chris Canning; Schaumburg Trustee Jaime Clar; Pace Director David Guerin; Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger; Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski; Representative Michelle Mussman; Representative Nabeela Syed; Representative Mary Beth Canty; Pace Director Bill McLeod; Pace ADA Suburban Advisory Committee Chairperson Jemal Powell; and RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden.
First-of-its-kind ADA Transfer Point will prioritize accessibility with public restrooms, an indoor waiting area, EV charging stations, and additional parking
SCHAUMBURG, IL –Pace leaders sought to champion the themes of Disability Pride Month Wednesday when they were joined by local officials to break ground on a new ADA Transfer Facility adjacent to the Northwest Transportation Center. The project, made possible by Rebuild Illinois funding, will transform a critical hub for paratransit with new assets that promote accessibility, expand capacity, and enhance comfort and aesthetics for people with disabilities and other commuters.
The improvements to the site include the demolition of the former Schaumburg Post Office and the renovation of an existing facility that will accommodate customers, for the first time, with indoor waiting area and public restrooms. The concept was informed by feedback from Pace’s ADA Advisory Committees and reinforces the agency’s commitment to advancing the accessibility and equity of its service, a key aspiration of its strategic plan.
Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski opened the celebration by welcoming guests with a special acknowledgement of Illinois State Representative Michelle Mussman, whose district the transit center is in. “I want to thank Representative Mussman for her support as she voted for the Rebuild Illinois capital bill that is funding this project,” he said. “Thanks to that support, Pace can invest in transit infrastructure in the northwest suburbs to improve access for those we serve.”
Also in attendance was Pace Director and Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod who introduced the esteemed line up of speakers, including Representative Michelle Mussman, Representative Mary Beth Canty, Representative Nabeela Syed, Schaumburg Trustee Jaime Clar, Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger, and Pace Suburban ADA Advisory Committee Chairperson Jemal Powell.
Before introducing Powell, Metzger said, “I could not think of a better way to celebrate Disability Pride month than with a groundbreaking for the construction of a new fully accessible ADA Paratransit Transfer Facility.” She noted Pace’s efforts to enhance ADA Paratransit Service throughout the region by leveraging technology to improve passengers’ experience with features like "Where’s My Bus" which allows passengers to track their rides similar to Uber and Lyft, departure boards at popular destinations so passengers can see the status of their trip in real time, and a recently launched transit app where passengers can access real-time information on Pace service and connections with our sister agencies CTA and Metra, and, coming soon, with Pace’s On Demand services.
“I’m honored to introduce our next speaker, Jemal Powell. Jemal serves as Chairperson of Pace’s Suburban ADA Advisory Committee, and he also serves on Pace’s Citizen’s Advisory Board. Jemal is a regular rider of our fixed route system and advocates for the disability community. He is a big supporter of Pace and always provides us with valuable input to ensure we meet the mobility needs of our riders,” Metzger said.
“I use Pace every day, just about, on the fixed route side. I’ve been across the area on different routes and at different facilities, and this sounds like a very innovative facility,” said Powell. “Transit is very important for everybody, across the board. People need to get to work, people have to go to school, people have to go shopping and visit loved ones. Thanks to Pace for being one of the most innovative transit agencies across the country.”
Event guests included representatives from U.S. Senator Richard Durbin’s, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s, and State Senator Seth Lewis’s offices; Leanne Redden, Executive Director of the RTA; Schaumburg Village Manager Brian Townsend; Schaumburg Transportation Program Manager Marisa Krawiec; Schaumburg Director of Economic Development Matt Frank; Schaumburg Business Association President Lisa Gilbert; Northwest Municipal Conference Executive Director Mark Fowler; Harper College Vice President and Board Liaison Maria Coons; Chicago Northwest President Heather Larson; Ajay Shah of Globetrotters Engineering Corporation; Bill O’Malley and Trevor Schaaf of John Burns Construction; and Gina Panepinto of Power & Cronin Ltd. Also in attendance were Pace directors David Guerin, Mayor of River Grove, and Chris Canning, former President of the Village of Wilmette.
The Pace Northwest Transportation Center is a major hub with over 1000 daily boardings for Pace service, including I-90 Express buses which utilize the Illinois Tollway I-90 Flex Lanes to bypass congestion and connect commuters to the CTA Blue Line at Rosemont. The new transit center and ADA Transfer Facility will include two new dual-port car charging stations, with capacity for four electric cars, an expanded drop-off area, and new Pace branded signs with real-time bus departure information. New sidewalks will provide pedestrian access from Mall Drive and Kimberly Drive to the bus terminal, and parking capacity will increase from 192 spaces (6 ADA) to 301 spaces (8 ADA) to support the popular I-90 Express services. Other improvements include landscaping and site furnishings, seating, Ventra ticketing, and digital and audio bus arrival information.
Pace Suburban Bus safely and efficiently moves people to work, school, and other regional destinations with its family of public transportation services. Pace offers affordable and environmentally responsible transit options for the residents of 274 municipalities in Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. The backbone of Chicago's suburbs, Pace serves tens of thousands of daily riders. One of the largest bus services in North America, Pace covers 3,677 square miles, an area nearly the size of the state of Connecticut and about 15 times the size of the City of Chicago. Pace's innovative approach to public transportation gives the agency a national reputation as an industry leader.