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Pace and IDOT partner to offer Bus on Shoulder on Edens (I-94)

Pace Express bus 

Pace I-94 Market Expansion Program

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 more than quadrupled in the corridor, proving that reliability plays a significant role in attracting and retaining riders. While ridership may not increase at those levels on the Edens, Pace does expect to see ridership growth and improved schedule reliability.

Pace will kick-off bus on shoulders operations on the Edens with existing routes 620 (connects the CTA Dempster Station in Skokie and Allstate's Northbrook campus) and 626 (connects the CTA Dempster Station in Skokie and various commercial and business centers in Northbrook, Deerfield, Riverwoods, Buffalo Grove, and Lincolnshire).

"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 by almost five times. 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."

Additional routes that could utilize the I-94 service in the future are in the planning stages. Preliminary concepts aim to provide connections from the Jefferson Park Transit Center and the CTA Kimball Brown Line Station to the Lake Cook Corridor. Service expansion is based on the availability of funding and equipment and is subject to change.

In coordination with IDOT and the Illinois State Police, safety focused operating rules similar to those in use on I-55 will be employed. Buses will 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."

Construction has already begun on the Edens Expressway (Interstate 94) and includes resurfacing the outside shoulders and some travel lanes, adding new signage, and modifying rumble strips. Nightly lane closures will take place in both directions between Foster Avenue and Lake Cook Road. The expressway at times will be reduced to one lane in each direction during the overnight hours. Expressway entrance and exit ramp closures also may be required. Click here to find details on other construction projects in IDOT's District 1. Updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com.

 

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