Doing Business with Pace



  • Copies of bid documents for current solicitations can be obtained by downloading them from Pace's website or by calling 847-228-2479.

July 2016


Pace is earnestly attempting to provide public transportation in an efficient and effective manner at the lowest possible cost. Pace′s public bidding procedures are designed to help achieve that goal. It is the duty and responsibility of the Chief Procurement Officer to act as Pace′s authorized Purchasing Agent.

This document contains information designed to help you sell your materials and services to Pace. We are interested in any comments you may have about these procedures to aid in our constant effort to improve our procurement function.

We hope that this information will be of use to you and/or your organization and that it may promote a long and mutually beneficial business relationship with Pace. Please contact the Department Managers of Purchasing and Materials Management if you have any questions about the information provided or the procurement process.

Rebecca Howe
Chief Procurement Officer

Copies of bid documents for current solicitations can be obtained by downloading them from Pace′s website or by calling 847-228-2479.

For information about the DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Program, contact:
DBE Liaison Office

This explains how you may participate in contracts for capital and operational products and services for Pace totaling approximately $250,000,000 annually. It is designed to help current and prospective manufacturers, dealers or contractors understand Pace′s purchasing process. There is additional information contained on our website,, under Business Opportunities.

What Pace Buys

The demand generated by the operation of approximately 800 fixed route buses, 500 paratransit buses, 800 vanpool vehicles, 155 staff vehicles, Pace headquarters, and 11 facilities and the related support equipment and maintenance needed to keep these vehicles and the facilities operating efficiently and effectively requires constant research and sourcing to acquire the various items essential to our operation. The purchase of these materials, supplies and services is a major function of the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer. Your company may be in a position to provide some of our many requirements. We publish our procurements, Invitations for Bids (IFB) and Requests for Proposals (RFP), as well as bid results on our website.

Where Pace Buys

All purchasing is accomplished centrally. The office of the Chief Procurement Officer is located at Pace′s Arlington Heights Headquarters. Bid Documents may be picked up at this location, sent to you, and are also available for download from our website. The business hours of the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer are 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.

Although centralized, the purchasing of "stock" parts is conducted by three buyer/planners who are located at our largest facilities in the field. Maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies are purchased locally through each facility. These "field buys" are conducted under Informal Bidding procedures using facsimile quotes, telephone bids or written quotations and are limited in value to less than $40,000.00. To be considered under this Informal Bidding procedure, please request to be added to the Vendor List. See instructions below.

How Pace Buys

The regulations governing Pace′s purchases and sales transactions state that, with few exceptions, all purchase orders or contracts exceeding forty thousand dollars ($40,000) for labor, services, or consulting services, or the purchase or sale of materials or equipment, shall be accomplished by free and open competitive bidding after advertisement. This type of purchasing is called a "Formal Procurement."

So that Pace will be able to manage with its daily needs, the regulations provide for alternative procurement methods other than an advertised "Formal Procurement."

1. If the purchase orders or contracts involve amounts of less than forty thousand dollars ($40,000), such purchase orders or contracts may be accomplished in the open market after solicitation of quotes electronically or via facsimile by Pace staff. This method is called "Informal Bidding," sometimes referred to as a "small purchase" procedure.

2. Contracts which, by their nature, are inconsistent with competitive bidding - such as utilities, communication or specialized professional services - may be awarded directly without competitive bidding by the Chief Procurement Officer or their designee (for contracts under $100,000) or by the Pace Board (for contracts over $100,000). Where subcontractors are utilized by such entities, the service providers are encouraged to reach out to Small Business Enterprises for quotes/bids.

3. In the case of an emergency, declared by the Executive Director, which affects the operations of Pace, contracts may be executed to the extent necessary to respond to the emergency without "Formal Advertisement." Pace′s Board is notified by the Executive Director of the emergency.

Vendor List

Pace maintains a vendor file for each commodity or service for all procurements. From these files, Pace will send a notification of solicitation to representative firms that may be interested in bidding on the commodity or service. These solicitations occur for both Formal and Informal procurements.

Your firm′s name will be placed in our vendor file after completion and submission of the Vendor Application which is available on Pace′s website. Please complete the form in its entirety including all commodity codes that pertain to your business. You may also contact Pace′s Procurement Office at 847-228-2479 to provide your company information.

Formal Advertising

The process of purchasing by formal advertising is initiated by Pace. An Invitation for Bid (IFB), or Request for Proposal (RFP) is published in an English language daily newspaper of general circulation, currently the Sun Times Media, LLC.

Notice of the IFB or RFP is posted on our website, with each solicitation.

Specifications/Scopes of Services

A detailed specification or scope of service will accompany each IFB or RFP. Please read it carefully. It is a formal statement of Pace′s needs.

Trade Names

Trade or brand names may be used in the specification for additional identification only. An "or equal" may be allowed unless indicated to the contrary and/or if previously approved for use.

Addenda Sheets

When Pace requires a change to a previously submitted IFB or RFP that needs to be clarified or corrected, addenda may be issued against an IFB or an RFP. These are sent to every firm that has received the solicitation, as soon as the need for interpretation or modification is required.

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Disadvantaged and Small Business Enterprise Program

Pace′s DBE Department is responsible for the administration of the Disadvantages Business Enterprise (DBE) program. All procurement packages are reviewed by the DBE Liaison Officer to determine whether a DBE subcontracting goal should be included. If a goal is required, you must include with your bid the subcontractor names, amounts of subcontracts and type of work for DBE firms you intend to use.

Pace has established a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program in accordance with the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 49 CFR Part 26 and a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program in accordance with 49 CFR Part 26 Section 26.39. These programs are intended to provide contracting opportunities to small businesses owned and controlled by socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals.

The IL UCP is based on the concept of certification reciprocity among the following agencies: Pace, Chicago Transit Authority, Illinois Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, and Metra. The IL UCP provides "one stop shopping" to applicants for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification in the State of Illinois.

The Illinois DBE Program is for independent, for-profit firms which are at least 51% owned by SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED individual(s) that control management and daily business operations.

Socially disadvantaged individuals include:

  • Women
  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian-Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent Asian Americans

Economically disadvantaged individuals must meet the following qualifications:

  • U.S. Citizens (or lawfully admitted permanent residents).
  • Personal Net Worth must not exceed $1.32M. Economically disadvantaged firms must:
  • Be independent, for-profit firms
  • Be at least 51% owned by economically disadvantaged individual(s) that control management and daily business operations.
  • Meet the SBA's business size standard and not exceed $23.98M gross receipts averaged over three years.

To qualify under the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program, a firm must be an independent, for-profit firm, at least 51% owned by ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED individual(s) that control management and daily business operations.

Note: If you are currently certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), you are automatically considered a SBE and do not have to complete an additional process for SBE certification.

Certification Process

Complete a DBE/SBE Certification Application, a Personal Net Worth statement, a signed, notarized affidavit that each presumptively disadvantaged owner is, in fact, socially and/or economically disadvantaged along with all supporting documentation and submit to Pace.

More information about certification is found here:

The application is found here:

Mail all documents to the following address:
Pace Suburban Bus
DBE Liaison Officer
550 W. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Advantages to Being a Certified DBE:

  • Company listing in the Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP) Vendor Directory.
  • Increased probability of being selected by prime contractors to count DBE participation toward their contract goal.
  • Increased opportunity to participate on federally funded projects.
  • Automatic certification as an SBE.

As a certified SBE, your firm is able to participate on Pace-allocated "Small Business Projects" that are set aside for SBE firms. If Pace's preliminary cost estimate of a project is between $40,000 and $200,000, Pace may choose to limit bidding to only SBE-certified firms. However, Pace reserves the right to allow all firms (both SBE- and non-SBE-certified) to bid on a project even if the cost is projected to be between $40,000 and $200,000.

There is no cost for certification. A firm's certification is for the life of the firm unless an adverse decision is rendered to remove the firm's eligibility. However, an annual "No Change Affidavit" is a requirement.

Prime contractors seeking DBE subcontractor participation in their bids must use DBE firms already listed in the Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP) DBE directory at the time of bid opening. Prospective bidders/contractors are urged to contact Pace's DBE Liaison Officer prior to bid submittal at (847) 228-4257 to check their DBE compliance.

A copy of the IL UCP DBE Directory can be viewed on under "Business Opportunities".

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The Bid and/or Proposal

If you can supply the commodity or service requested in the solicitation, your next step is to prepare your bid/proposal and fill out the information required in the bid or proposal package Please be sure that your bid or proposal is fully and correctly completed and that it is properly signed by an authorized individual as required by the solicitation. The solicitation response must be typed or written in ink.

Submitting the Bid/Proposal

The entire solicitation that you receive is a part of your bid/proposal and, if you are the responsive, responsible bidder/proposer, will be incorporated as part of your contract. The complete solicitation, with any or all addenda, must be returned in a sealed envelope and must be received in the Purchasing Department at Pace Headquarters in Arlington Heights by the day and time specified for the bid opening or receipt of proposals. Any bids or proposals received after this time will be returned to the firm, unopened. You are invited to attend the public bid opening which commences promptly on the day and time stated.

Informal Bidding

Purchases that are projected to be less than forty thousand dollars ($40,000) are conducted by solicitation of quotes electronically or via facsimile.

Quotes must be typed or written in ink and signed by an authorized employee of the company. The request for quote (RFQ) is then returned to the Pace by the time and date specified. If the quote is the lowest responsive and responsible quote, Pace will issue a purchase order which is the contract to deliver. If you are unable to provide a quote, indicate "No Bid" on the quotation form, and return the quote documents to Pace.

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Rejection of Bids/Proposals

Pace reserves the right to accept any bid/proposal or any part or parts thereof or to reject any and all bids/proposals.


Although our contracts ask for delivery of products or services on or before an indicated date, Pace reserves the right to accept later delivery if justified by the Contractor or is in the best interest of Pace. Vendors should note that Pace has many facilities spread across northeastern Illinois and the delivery address may vary depending upon which Pace department is buying the product.

Shipping Charges

Pace does not have a centralized receiving department. As a result, free on board (F.O.B.) destination is required, meaning the seller transfers ownership of the goods to the buyer. If F.O.B. is other than final destination or delivered, shipping charges must be shown as part of quotation.


If a discount for prompt payment of invoices is offered, such discount will NOT be considered in the evaluation of bids unless otherwise specified. They may, however, be applied to the payment if the discount offered is for payment of invoices in fifteen (15) days or more. Discounts for less than fifteen (15) days are not considered. Pace requires a minimum of fifteen (15) days for processing bills from time of receipt of materials, service or invoice, whichever is latest.

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Payment of Invoices

All invoices shall be addressed to Accounts Payable. An invoice will be processed for payment when notice has been received by the Accounting Department that the goods or services have been received, have been inspected and found to be as ordered.

Invoices must be sent to:

Pace, Suburban Bus Division of the RTA
Attention: Accounts Payable
550 West Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-4412

Invoices MUST bear the contract number and change order number as issued. Invoices must not cover more than one order number.

Notice of Acceptance of Bid

The successful bidder will receive notice of acceptance of their bid/proposal. On purchases over forty thousand dollars ($40,000), acceptance notice is provided within ninety (90) days of bid opening. On under forty thousand dollar ($40,000) contracts (purchase orders), notice is given within sixty (60) days. Bid deposits are returned to all except the three (3) apparent lowest bidders as soon as a determination is made. Upon formal award of a contract to the lowest ,responsive and responsible bidder, the bid deposits are returned to the bidders. Award results are published on our website.

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Bidders Responsibility Record

Vendors whose performance on Pace contracts is unsatisfactory may be subject to suspension from the bidder′s list and may be refused the right to any future Pace purchase orders or contracts.

Bid Opening or Receipt of Proposals Time

All reference to the hour of bid opening or receipt of proposals is the prevailing time in Chicago, Standard or Daylight Savings Time as the case may be.

Results of Bids/Proposals

This information is available on Pace′s website in the Awarded Bids section.

Inspection by Pace

All merchandise purchased by Pace is subject to inspection. Some specifications may contain a section stating the type of inspection necessary and to whom the test reports are to be sent.

Buying from Pace

Scrap and obsolete equipment generated by the operation of Pace is a valuable resource and is sold through competitive bidding procedures. The Chief Procurement Officer has the responsibility for disposing all scrap and surplus materials and equipment owned by Pace.

The procedure for the sale of salvage materials follows the same procedure as for the purchase of material. All sales are made after full and open competitive bidding among potential buyers. Notice of the sale of salvage material is provided to firms who are in this business.

All material should be inspected prior to the submission of bids. Sales are "as is, where is, without warranty or guarantee." The location and hours of the inspection are stipulated on each bid invitation.

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The Law Governing Pace Purchases and Sales

The Purchasing Department is the interface between Pace requirements and suppliers of the materials, equipment and services, and conducts its operation in accordance with the Pace Procurement Rules and Regulations, adopted by Pace Ordinance No. SBD 15-21 (or as amended). Additionally, Pace must conduct its procurements under the rules and regulations of the Federal Transit Administration, Circular 4220.1F (or as amended), the Regional Transportation Authority Act, and all other applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

Contact the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer

Pace, Suburban Bus Division of the RTA
550 W. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-4412


Phone: 847-228-2479

Purchasing Facsimile: 847-228-4204

Materials Management Facsimile: 847-364-2089


Hours are 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday


Doing Business with CTA, Metra, and RTA

If you are interested in bidding on CTA, Metra or RTA contracts, please visit their websites by clicking any of the buttons below. Each agency has its own Procurement site and business procedures.

RTA   CTA   Metra


Note: Non-Purchasing information/phone numbers are available at Pace Customer Services.

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