“Our bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan comes at a critical time for our growing Chicagoland region, and we’re making sure our infrastructure can meet the needs of everyone who lives, works, and plays here,” Pritzker said. “This funding for Pace is a $52-million investment in the future of Will County, ensuring that residents have accessible, reliable Pace service throughout the community and beyond.”
The facility has capacity for 135 buses, which will allow for future growth in Pace’s operations in Will County. It also has 13 maintenance bays, allowing bus repairs and maintenance to be handled efficiently on site. Additionally, Pace is laying the groundwork for the future conversion to zero-emission buses — the facility includes an electric bus charger and a dual-port electric car charger.
“We owe much of our success with Pace’s Bus on Shoulder program to our state’s leaders, who were bold enough to try this idea back in 2011, make it permanent in 2014, and then, invest in modernizing the program’s infrastructure through Rebuild Illinois,” said Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski.
The facility will allow for the expansion of Pace’s Bus on Shoulder Express Service and create space for additional vehicles needed to operate the popular service, which takes commuters from various park-n-rides to downtown Chicago using the shoulder on I-55 to bypass congestion. Prior to the pandemic, ridership on the service grew more than 600 percent since the implementation of shoulder use began in 2011.
“This garage benefits the entire region,” said Regional Transportation Authority Chairman Kirk Dillard. “Bus on Shoulder passengers can transfer to Chicago Transit Authority and Metra to get from the southwest suburbs to virtually anywhere in Chicagoland.”