L-R: Pace Director Chris Canning; Pace Director David Guerin; Cook County Commissioner Josina Morita; Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen; Cook County Commissioner Maggie Trevor; Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski; Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger; Senator Ram Villivalam; Pace Director Linda Soto; Representative Michelle Mussman.
State, county, and local officials join Pace to commemorate launch of second Pulse line
MORTON GROVE, IL – Earlier today, Pace welcomed state, county, and local leaders to celebrate the launch of the newest addition to Pace’s growing rapid transit network, the Pulse Dempster Line, which offers passengers a fast and reliable service. The service began daily operations on Sunday, October 29, 2023.
Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski welcomed guests and noted, “Ridership is already up approximately 7% compared to last year, a promising statistic which shows that faster, more frequent service is a key part of bringing riders back to transit and attracting new passengers.”
Pulse provides premium bus service with limited stops, modern stations, and frequent service. Pulse Dempster’s purple-branded buses will run every 15 to 20 minutes, ensuring riders along Dempster Street in the northern suburbs reach destinations from Evanston to O’Hare International Airport more quickly.
“As you arrived, you may have stopped for a photo on our purple carpet. This is part of our marketing campaign for Pulse Dempster called ‘Catching Greens,’ a nod to the service’s use of Transit Signal Priority technology to shorten red lights and lengthen green lights,” said Pace Director Chris Canning. “This means riders of Pulse buses will truly catch more greens, reducing trip times up to 15 minutes for passengers travelling between Evanston and O’Hare.”
Thanks to cutting-edge Transit Signal Priority (TSP) technology that leverages traffic signal timing adjustments with no impact to general traffic flow, buses navigate through congestion more efficiently to stay on schedule and reduce travel times for commuters. Pulse Dempster buses communicate directly with traffic control to minimize red lights and lengthen green lights every day.
TSP technology has been shown to reduce bus travel times in major cities throughout the country. In general, this innovative technology has helped reduce bus travel times up to 10 percent and reduce congestion up to 50 percent at certain intersections, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. TSP is also deployed on other high-traffic corridors for the benefit of Pace buses throughout the region.
"Our public transit system is the lifeblood of our economy, from the suburbs to the city, and beyond," said Senator Ram Villivalam. "I am grateful to the leadership and staff of Pace for their work in taking another major step to ensure that our public transit system is reliable, accessible, affordable, and environmentally conscious for all our residents."
Representative Martin Moylan also spoke at the event. "I am proud to be here today to see the opening of this new line. Our public transit infrastructure is something we should all take great pride in. Not only does it help people move through the city quickly and affordably, but it creates jobs and opportunities that help our transit infrastructure overall."
Pulse Dempster service improves access to a variety of major destinations, schools, places of employment and more, including the O’Hare Multimodal Facility, Lutheran General Hospital, Maine East High School, and Notre Dame High School. Pulse Dempster riders can easily connect to other Pace and CTA bus routes, the CTA Yellow and Purple lines, as well as Metra’s Union Pacific North, Northwest, and North Central Service rail lines. These improved travel connections provide passengers with an abundance of local and regional travel options.
“Commuting patterns have changed dramatically post-pandemic, and adjusting to those changes, particularly in the suburbs, can be challenging. I am proud to say that Pace has embraced that challenge by making tremendous progress on the implementation of innovative, efficient, and flexible service options to serve current riders and attract new riders to the system,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger.
Pulse Dempster buses come equipped with modern amenities for passengers on board, including free Wi-Fi service, as well as easy-to-find branded stations with heated shelters and real-time bus tracker information. Pulse Dempster also improves ADA accessibility, featuring raised bus platforms at all stations that conveniently melt ice and snow during inclement weather.
Other dignitaries at today’s event included Representative Michelle Mussman, Cook County Commissioner Josina Morita, Cook County Commissioner Maggie Trevor, and Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, who spoke about the importance of public transportation for their constituents and the economy. Guests included representatives from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Village of Morton Grove, Village of Skokie, Northwest Municipal Conference, Lutheran General Hospital, Morton Grove Park District, Maine-Niles Association of Special Recreation, Maine Township High School District 207, and American Legion Post 134.
New and returning riders can look out for Pulse stations and temporary stops with Pulse signs while construction continues on the new line. Visit PaceBus.com/Pulse for updates, schedules, and exciting developments.
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.