Pace Interim Executive Director Melinda Metzger, Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski, and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood at the Pace Plainfield Park-n-Ride.
Pace showcases infrastructure improvements in Illinois’ 14th congressional district
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Yesterday, Pace was honored to host Congresswoman Lauren Underwood at the agency’s soon-to-open Heritage Plainfield Garage, a modern bus garage and maintenance facility which will support Pace’s popular Bus on Shoulder Express Service between Chicago and communities along the I-55 corridor.
Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski and Interim Executive Director Melinda Metzger welcomed the Congresswoman and toured the Pace Plainfield Park-n-Ride and the adjacent bus garage as they discussed how the agency is putting infrastructure investments to use across Illinois’ 14th congressional district. “For decades, infrastructure in Illinois has suffered a systemic lack of investment and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is changing that. I’m thrilled that the Pace bus and so many other projects in our community are eligible to receive funding from this historic legislation,” said Underwood. “I will continue to work in Congress to deliver funding that improves the quality of life for Illinoisans and accelerate our economic growth.”
The tour began at the Pace Plainfield Park-n-Ride, which opened in July of 2019. Chairman Rick Kwasneski shared how the 600-space transit center was made possible through an intergovernmental partnership with the Village of Plainfield. “Bus on Shoulder service was booming, and Pace has outgrown three other park and rides since 2011,” the Chairman said. “Before Covid, this location saw more than 440 daily boardings. Thanks to Plainfield’s investment and partnership, along with federal resources for additional buses, we’ll be ready as the region reopens and passengers return to Pace.”
The tour then moved to the new bus garage, which is expected to begin operations in June of this year. The $52 million dollar facility sits on a nearly 12-acre site and has the capacity for 130 buses. Funding for the new garage was provided by the Rebuild Illinois program and the project is another intergovernmental partnership with the Village of Plainfield and Northern Builders, the design-build contractor.
“Pace has always valued partnerships, be it with governments, other public agencies, or private businesses. Working together with others who are invested in making public transportation succeed in our region has been the key to our success, and this building is just another example of that,” said Metzger.
The tour gave Pace the opportunity to share how important federal support of public transportation has been to our region during the pandemic as well as the need for continued support to ensure Pace and transit agencies across the nation can recover and adapt to the new normal. Federal measures to support transit were integral to keeping Pace’s essential service running throughout the pandemic and will be vital to making the system more efficient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable in the coming years.
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 272 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 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.