The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Pace Adding More Buses To Stevenson's Shoulders

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 2, 2012 5:40PM

Remember Pace's pilot program Gov. Quinn signed into effect last August that allowed the suburban transit agency that allowed for buses on the Stevenson expressway to ride on the shoulder during rush hours? The program has turned out to be so successful that Pace is adding extra service to the program starting April 9.

Pace spokeswoman Maggie Daly told the Tribune the program has worked beyond expectations. Travel and on-time performances have improved for the two routes using the program, and ridership has increased to the point to where buses are over crowded. "It's a good problem to have," Daly said.

Pace route 755, which links the southwest suburbs to the Illinois Medical District and UIC, will now be extended to Union Station. Route 855, from the Southwest burbs to the Loop and North Michigan Avenue, will add an additional inbound run during morning rush and an outbound run in the evening. Route 855 has seen a 67 percent increase in ridership since February 2011. Route 755's ridership has increased by 120 percent.

The program states buses can only use the shoulder when traffic on the Stevenson is slower than 35 MPH. The unseasonably warmer winter we had may also be a factor, as buses can't use the shoulders during snow removal.