Pace and IDOT partner to offer Bus on Shoulder on Edens (I-94)
Pace I-94 Market Expansion Program
operations on the Edens (I-94) Expressway on April 9, 2018. Two existing
routes--620 (which connects the CTA Dempster Station in Skokie and Allstate's
Northbrook campus) and 626 (which connects the CTA Dempster Station in Skokie
and various commercial and business centers in Northbrook, Deerfield, Riverwoods,
Buffalo Grove, and Lincolnshire)--are the first to use the shoulder in this
Since Pace introduced shoulder riding on I-55 in late 2011, on-time performance
for routes on the corridor has improved dramatically, from about 65% to
over 90%. Ridership has increased more than 600% in the corridor, proving
that reliability plays a significant role in attracting and retaining riders.
While ridership may not increase at that same rate on the Edens, Pace does
expect to see ridership growth and improved schedule reliability. This service
improvement will greatly enhance job access for commuters coming from Chicago
and North Shore communities to employment locations in the Lake Cook Road
"We've seen unprecedented ridership growth along the I-55 corridor thanks
to the bus on shoulder service," said Pace Chairman Richard Kwasneski. "Since
bus-on-shoulder operations began, ridership in the corridor has grown astronomically.
When there's congestion on the roadway, bus-on-shoulder service is faster
and more reliable than driving. Commuters see that and choose our service
over their cars. We believe they will do the same in the Lake-Cook region
and are excited to partner with IDOT on this project."
IDOT's construction work on the right-hand shoulder of the Edens is complete,
and signage for motorists is already up. In coordination with IDOT and the
Illinois State Police, Pace's bus operating rules focus on safety, and are
similar to those in use on I-55. Buses use the outside shoulder lanes when
general traffic slows to below 35 mph. While using the shoulders, the bus
will not exceed the speed of regular traffic by more than 15 mph and the
maximum speed for buses traveling on the shoulder is 35 mph. If the shoulder
is unavailable due to an accident, law enforcement activity, or emergency
response vehicles, Pace will merge back into the regular lanes.
"This minor modification to our infrastructure will have far-reaching
benefits for commuters and the environment," said Illinois Transportation
Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. "Expanding the success of this convenient,
innovative program to the Edens provides travelers in the region one more
option to get to where they need to go, while reducing congestion and building
more reliability into their trips."
Among the many benefits of bus-on-shoulder service is the relatively
small cost to implement, compared to other transit services that require
new infrastructure, such as a new train line. The minimal construction work
needed on both I-55 and now I-94 offers a much-improved transit service
to the commuting public while minimizing the start-up cost borne by the
Additional routes that could utilize the I-94 service in the future are
in the planning stages. In particular, as part of the recently-completed
North Shore Coordination Plan, Pace has
proposed a new bus-on-shoulder service (see
"Route C" on the map) to connect passengers from the Jefferson Park
Transit Center to downtown Skokie and Westfield Old Orchard shopping center.
Additionally, Pace is investigating preliminary concepts to provide additional
connections from the Jefferson Park Transit Center and potentially the CTA
Kimball Brown Line Station to the Lake-Cook Road Corridor. Service expansion
is based on the availability of funding and equipment and is subject to
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