Officials view Pace’s first electric bus, discuss innovations in transit
WHEATON, IL – Pace Suburban Bus delivered a new, fully-accessible 28-foot bus to DuPage County for service on Ride DuPage, a program that facilitates subsidized, reservation-based paratransit service for partners within the county like municipalities, townships, social service organizations, and employers.
Ride DuPage is a Dial-a-Ride service offered through a partnership between Pace and DuPage County that allows affordable, flexible, curb-to-curb service for eligible riders; partner organizations can set eligibility based on criteria like age, disability, or income.
The new vehicle is not the only good news for DuPage County transit this year. Pace provided the county with an additional $200,000 investment, representing the county’s share of $1,000,000 in transportation grants for the five suburban “collar counties” Pace serves. Pace also increased its contribution to all Dial-a-Ride programs by 15% for 2022.
“Pace values its partners in DuPage County, and we are confident these additional investments will help continue to make DuPage County an even more integral part of our transportation network,” said Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski. “Partnerships like this one allow Pace to operate a safe, modern, and equitable transit system that is accessible to all.”
“These new paratransit vehicle and electric bus will provide greater opportunities for the County to continue to serve our neediest residents. We’re grateful to Pace for their partnership and assistance in this endeavor,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.
“I’m very proud of the way we have been able to innovate in DuPage County,” added Pace Director Thomas Marcucci, who represents DuPage County on Pace’s Board. “Just a few months ago we launched the DuPage Access Program that subsidizes Uber trips for ADA Paratransit Riders, and earlier this June we expanded our Naperville-Aurora On Demand service. We have really been ‘thinking outside the bus’ to serve the residents of the county.”
After the presentation, Pace officials showed DuPage County officials the agency’s first electric vehicle, a 40-foot GILLIG Battery-Electric Bus. Pace employees are currently learning how to incorporate the technology into their system; an additional 20 vehicles currently on order will enter service in 2023.