Yesterday, the Pace Board of Directors met for their February 2023 meeting and received updates about several significant initiatives. Of note was an ordinance authorizing work to integrate Pace’s On Demand service into its new Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform, the Transit trip planning app. “I am excited that we are taking the next step in this initiative to move all of our services into one central location, making it easier for our customers to plan their travel,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger.
Transit is a mobile app providing real-time public transit data. The app functions in over 175 metropolitan areas around the world. Transit aggregates and maps real-time public transit data, as well as crowdsourced user data to provide the most accurate information for anyone making a trip. Pace launched its partnership with Transit in November 2022 by enhancing the quality of their fixed route data feed. This includes real-time departures showing passengers when buses will arrive, cancellations when they occur, and crowding information to show passengers how full buses may be based on recent ridership.
The Board of Directors also heard from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Laura Wilkison, Senior Director and Policy Advisor, discussed their agency’s work on the Plan of Action for Regional Transit (PART). A steering committee, formed by state legislation, has been charged with studying the future of transit. Wilkison shared the committee’s objectives, including the identification of policies and investments that can rebuild public confidence in the regional transit system for both existing and future riders and the necessary reforms and funding supports to close the operating budget shortfall and pay for incremental costs of reforms.
Chairman Rick Kwasneski has been meeting regularly with staff to address the impending fiscal challenges facing the agency. “From a funding standpoint, we will continue to evaluate our system holistically,” he said. “We must ensure we are meeting the needs of our region while continuing to be a good steward of the taxpayer dollar. The innovative and cost-effective services Pace has started operating are a step in the right direction and we will build on that.” he said. A report is due January 1, 2024, to the Illinois General Assembly.
In addition to official Pace business, the Board of Directors honored Melinda Metzger for her 45 years of service to the region’s transportation system. “After 45 years, people are sometimes winding down,” said Director Erin Smith. ”What really impresses me about you is that you are winding up. You have an innovative way of approaching the changes in transportation, and how quickly we are adapting is really commendable.”
The Pace Board of Directors meets monthly in Arlington Heights, typically on the third Wednesday of each month at 9:30am. The Board's schedule, along with agendas, minutes, and video recordings, can be found on the Public Meetings page at PaceBus.com, and meetings are streamed live at PaceBus.com/Streaming.