The success of shoulder-riding program laid the foundation for innovative projects made possible by the coming infusion of federal infrastructure dollars
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Last week, Pace officials held a celebratory event at the Pace Plainfield Park-n-Ride to mark the 10th anniversary of Pace’s Bus on Shoulder service and the legislation that made it possible. The celebration continues this week with the release of a multi-faceted anniversary campaign centered around a Spotify playlist of Traffic Jams, made up of 59 songs perfect for cruising – one for every minute the average Chicagoan spends in traffic. The hand-picked songs range from music legends like David Bowie and The Beatles, to rulers of today’s hit radio like Maroon 5 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with each track aptly translating the way it feels to cruise on the open road.
Many of the songs boast driving-inspired lyrics and titles, but one song stands out. Pace’s original song, Rocking the Shoulder, debuted on the playlist Wednesday and has solidified Traffic Jam as a music genre. Also tied to the musical theme are several buses wrapped to mimic a band’s tour bus and decals inside the vehicles that allow riders quick access to Pace’s playlist Pace is actively pursuing engagement with the riding public and our stakeholders, as we’ve invited people to submit via social media suggestions for songs to be added to Pace’s playlist.
Since Pace’s first trip on the shoulder of I-55 in November of 2011, public transportation ridership has grown faster on this corridor than anywhere in the region. “Creating an original song was a tactic we’d never tried before, so it made sense to try something new to honor something else our region had never done before – incorporating bus-only lanes into our highway system,” said Executive Director Rocky Donahue.
The Rocking the Shoulder marketing effort gives a nod to Pace’s forward-thinking approach and sets the stage for more innovation made possible by the Rebuild Illinois bill and the newly signed federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Thanks to these investments, Pace’s capital infrastructure program will shift into high-gear in the coming years with plans for a zero-emissions fleet, new services and partnerships, and new and updated facilities.
Pace’s new strategic vision plan, Driving Innovation, will guide the agency’s capital infrastructure program and ensure projects are focused on equity, environmental stewardship, and fiscal responsibility. This solid foundation will be critical to implementing Pace’s vision of a faster, more frequent, and more reliable bus network. The agency will also explore “out-of-the-bus” programs and partnerships, like working in collaboration with taxicabs and transit network companies like Uber and Lyft, to create a transportation network that meets the diverse needs of the 284 municipalities Pace serves. More information about Pace’s Bus on Shoulder 10th Anniversary campaign can be found at PaceBus.com/traffic-jams.