Commuters traveling from Metra stations in Deerfield, Lake Forest, or Palatine to nearby workplaces can now use a new self-service transportation option. No monthly commitment... just reserve a ride on days you need it!
How does the VanGo service work?
VanGo is a reservation-based service, in which drivers/riders reserve a van for the next business day. This new pilot program provides a first-mile/last-mile transit option for commuters traveling round-trip from either the Lake-Cook Metra Station (in Deerfield), the Lake Forest (UP-N) Metra station, or the Palatine (UP-NW) Metra station to nearby work locations.
From each of the three stations, you can travel in a defined zone. Click a button below to see a map of the zone for each VanGo service.
How do I become a driver/rider?
If you're interested in becoming a driver, please submit the driver application. If you're interested in becoming a rider, please submit the rider application. Once approved, drivers and riders must then complete a participant agreement and a credit card authorization form with Pace. The registration is necessary for billing purposes.
Drivers must meet the following Pace criteria:
- Drivers must be at least 23 years of age and have a valid driver’s license.
- Drivers must have a good driving record.
- Drivers are required to pass a physical and drug test.
- Drivers are required to complete an on-line driver training class.
Once Pace has enrolled you as a VanGo commuter you can make a reservation for a VanGo round trip for any weekday.
How do I reserve a trip?
Registered commuters should email VanGo.LakeCounty@PaceBus.com (for Lake Forest and Lake-Cook) or VanGo.Palatine@PaceBus.com (for Palatine) or call (847) 364-3964 between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday to reserve a vehicle for the next business day. Vehicle reservations for weekends or Monday must be made by 4:30 P.M. Friday. The Pace representative will confirm the reservation and email or text the driver/rider an assigned vehicle number. Drivers will receive a vehicle entry code. Rider trip reservations are accepted only on the days with a pre-registered driver.
How do I access the van on the day of my trip?
Look for the Pace vehicle with the VanGo logo in the designated parking spot at your chosen Metra Station. Proceed to the vehicle's designated parking spot and enter the code provided at the time of reservation into the keypad on the window. The code will unlock the vehicle door and also unlock a key locker inside the vehicle. Enter the vehicle, take the key out of the locker to start the vehicle and proceed to the destination (which can be any work location in the geographic areas defined above).
At the end of the day, the driver drives the vehicle back to the designated parking space at the same Metra station from which it was picked up, places the key back in the key locker, and locks the vehicle by pushing the lock button on the keypad on the vehicle exterior. The driver can then depart for their connecting transportation service.
Other program rules
Vehicles may be reserved for any time between 6am and 9pm on any given day.
Drivers may use the vehicle to go out for lunch provided they stay within 5 miles of the Metra station from which they picked up the van. You may not travel outside that radius.
What is the cost?
The fare is $5.00 round trip. Drivers carrying pre-registered riders are free.
How do I pay the daily fare?
Pace will send a bill to participants at the end of each month, based on their usage of the service, and charge the credit card that the participant has on file. Participants don't need to send Pace a payment upon receipt of the bill.
What kind of vehicle is used in this program?
Participants in the VanGo program will use a late model van--often a Dodge Grand Caravan. Each van is branded with the VanGo logo and all vehicles will be equipped with:
- Video event recorders with GPS and geo-fencing.
- A keypad attached to the window to enter a code, which unlocks the vehicle.
- A key locker inside the vehicle for secure key storage.
Pace maintains the vehicle to the highest standard. Pace fleet staff will fuel, wash, and maintain the vehicles as needed.
For frequent users of VanGo
Did you know there is a Pace Feeder Vanpool Program that might be more cost-effective for more frequent or regular commuters? Commuters utilizing the VanGo program more than 2-3 days per week will be encouraged to join the Feeder Vanpool Program. That program allows for a regular group of people to commute together daily, with the driver not paying a fare, and riders paying a low monthly flat fare.