Pace has new bus/Metra strategy for DuPage

By Richard Wronski/ Chicago Transportation Journal

Pace has unveiled a new strategy to improve its DuPage County service, introducing a brand-new route along busy Ogden Ave. and restructuring several routes serving Metra stations. The plan would?significantly increase?the number of BNSF trains served by these restructured routes and?give riders more flexibility, Pace said.

The strategy targets?what transportation experts call?the “last mile,”?the gap between a commuter’s home and his/her mode of public transit. In?suburbs like Naperville and Downers Grove, Pace tries to fill that gap with bus service to and from some of Metra’s most-used stations.

Pace’s plan, which the agency said represents a $1 million investment, could go into effect this June. But first, Pace will hold public hearings to discuss the proposed changes on March 29, 30 and 31. The affected communities include Naperville, Lisle, Downers Grove, Woodridge and Lombard.

These communities largely feed Metra’s busiest line, the BNSF, which carries some 64,000 riders each weekday on 94 trains.

Mike Bolton, Pace’s deputy executive director for strategic services, told the Chicago Transportation Journal that the changes came about through an ongoing analysis of ridership.

Using data from the new Ventra fare card and other programs, Pace found it could combine some portions of existing routes in both the morning and evening to get better ridership on the trips and we also meet more trains, Bolton said.

“We found that we could save some vehicles that we could then use for the Ogden route that we have wanted to put into place since the Southwest DuPage study that we did nearly 10…

Something new for Chicago

Hello, Chicago. This?marks the debut?of a new source of information for the millions of?Chicago area residents and businesses who must get around?the?metropolitan area each day, whether by car, bus or train (and?bike, too). Just a few years ago, there were at least five reporters working for Chicago?newspapers and radio stations whose?“beat” was transportation and who provided this information.?Not any more.

While those beats have disappeared, the news has not. Chicagoans still need to know the best ways to get around. They need to know how their?expressways and tollways are being managed and maintained.?They need to know if their buses and trains are operating?properly and on time. They need to know who runs?the transit agencies, and why those officials?make the decisions they do. They?need to how their tax money and fares?are being spent. They need a watchdog.

The Chicago Transportation Journal’s goal?is to address those needs.?We’ll do so by providing in-depth coverage of issues unavailable elsewhere.?For example, if your bus or train is consistently late, we’ll?tell you why and what’s being done to fix?the problem.?We’ll delve into the decision-making behind the policies and actions taken by?transportation agencies.?We’ll also provide a forum?for transportation users, providers and experts. We welcome other voices.

Transportation is?a multibillion-dollar industry, and Chicago?is the transportation hub of the nation.?All the major freight railroads, Amtrak, and many of the key interstate highways pass through the region. We?have two of the nation’s busiest airports, O’Hare and Midway.?This site?also?hopes to keep?an eye?on?the freight rail, trucking and aviation industries, areas not covered by other media.

The Chicago Transportation Journal?is making?a…