Major capital improvements are on the way for Pace thanks to signing of SAFETEA-LU
On August 10th, President George W. Bush visited Montgomery, IL--one
of the 210 municipalities served by Pace Suburban Bus--to sign the major, six-year
federal surface transportation authorization bill. U.S. House Speaker Dennis
Hastert welcomed President Bush to his congressional district and was flanked
by many key members of Congress who authored the legislation, as well as members
of both parties from the Illinois Congressional delegation.
bill is a boon to Pace and public transportation in northeastern Illinois. In
all, Pace was awarded seven earmarked projects, two of which were authorized
and five of which had dollar amounts obligated. The projects are:
Cermak Road Bus Rapid Transit
Pace bus purchase
Cicero Ave Transit Signal Priority
Rand Road Transit Signal Priority
South Suburban Bus Rapid Transit
Cermak Road Bus Rapid Transit
Golf Road Bus Rapid Transit
The last two projects were included under New Fixed Guideway Projects,
Preliminary Engineering, commonly referred to as "New Starts." They are now
eligible for future federal funding in subsequent appropriations bills. More
information on these projects can be found on the following pages.
Our sister agencies, Metra and CTA, also received several earmarks. The region
as a whole will also be the recipient of an estimated $500 million more in formula
capital funding over the six-year life of the bill than it received under TEA-21.
Speaker Hastert and the members of the Illinois delegation were tremendously
successful in doing their part to make sure that transit agencies can make the
capital improvements necessary to better serve the 8 million people who live
in northeastern Illinois.
Pace wishes to thank the sponsors of these projects for their overwhelming
support of this agency.
Transit Technologies for the Future: Bus Rapid Transit
Buses, unlike trains, get stuck in traffic and, as any of the millions of
people who drive on the roadways in northeastern Illinois every day can attest,
the traffic in this region causes delays, frustration and real economic costs
to individuals and businesses. However, through federal investment, Pace seeks
to equip its buses with special transit signal priority
(TSP) technology that will allow buses to shorten red lights and extend green
lights at designated intersections.
TSP shortens travel times for passengers, improves on-time performance of
buses and - perhaps most significantly - reduces Pace's operating costs, which limits
the need for service reductions in the future. TSP already exists on Cermak
Road in Cicero and Berwyn and Pace's operating costs are now up to 21% less
on that bus route. In addition, TSP requires only a modest investment of capital
funding - mere pocket change compared to the cost of building a new rail line.
Pace hopes to implement traffic signal priority on many of the major roadway
corridors in the six-county region, and has requested the Members of Congress
from the region to sponsor in the transportation reauthorization bill individual
projects that benefit their districts. Now that the federal SAFETEA-LU bill
ihas become law, several of these projects will receive federal funding! Contact
information for the Illinois congressional delegation is included with each
project description. The projects requested were:
*As relates to cost figures: The benefits of transit signal priority
can be realized incrementally, on a corridor-by-corridor basis, even if the
maximum appropriation is not received. Because the project costs approximately
$15,000 per intersection to fully implement, Pace can implement the project
in segments if need be, and still reap the full benefits of the project on