Pace and IDOT partner to offer Bus on Shoulder on Edens (I-94)
Pace I-94 Market Expansion Program
Pace launches bus-on-shoulder 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 corridor.
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 corridor.
"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
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 taxpayer.
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
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 change.
Get e-mail updates when this information changes.