Agencies recognized for collaboration and transit integration on Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)
Downers Grove, IL, September 28, 2018 – The Illinois Tollway and Pace Suburban Bus will receive the 2018 Implementation Award from the American Planning Association Illinois Chapter in recognition of the agencies’ innovative collaboration to accommodate transit on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) for the first time in the Tollway’s history.
“APA-IL is proud to honor the Illinois Tollway SmartRoad and Pace I-90 Market Expansion Program,” said 2018 APA-IL Awards Chair Christina Bader. “The project is proof-of-concept that large agencies can work in collaboration to embrace bold, new ideas. With the added transit-ready Flex Lanes that allow buses to bypass traffic congestion, new stations and pedestrian connection improvements, it’s changing the game for regional bus commuting.”
The 2018 Implementation Award recognizes the implementation of a plan that accomplishes its objectives in a substantial, timely and effective manner. Entries are judged based on originality and innovation, effectiveness, overcoming challenges, engagement with public interests, achievement and sustainability.
“I-90 is now the model for accommodating transit service on the Illinois Tollway,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman. “The improvements on I-90 result from a dedication to customer service, safety and a strong partnership and coordinated planning efforts between the Tollway and Pace.”
The partnership between the Tollway and Pace as part of the I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project, is the first successful implementation of transit service on the Tollway’s 294-mile system. The solution came about as a result of coordinated efforts by the Tollway to address current and future needs of the I-90 corridor by working with transportation planning and transit agencies, including Pace and the Regional Transportation Authority.
“We are proud partners with the Illinois Tollway and many others on this project,” said Pace Chairman Richard Kwasneski. “The 11 routes that now serve the I-90 corridor provide nearly 3,700 trips per day. That’s about a 45 percent increase in ridership since the service expansion in 2016 and it shows that when transit is competitive with the private automobile, people will choose it. This service is a truly a viable commuter option.”
The Tollway invested $240 million to integrate transit into the corridor from Rockford to Chicago through the use of Flex Lanes that currently allow Pace buses to bypass congestion in the 16-mile I-90 SmartRoad between Barrington Road and the Kennedy Expressway when traffic conditions necessitate to provide reliable transit service. The Tollway also provided Pace with space to build the first park-n-ride stations on the Tollway system, including the first in-line transit station, as well as improved transit-only access for the Rosemont Transportation Center to facilitate bus service along the I-90 corridor and benefit commuters, drivers and the northwest suburbs.
Building off of the Tollway’s investment, Pace has delivered major service improvements along the I-90 corridor between Rosemont and Elgin as part of its I-90 Market Expansion Program, with additional funding from a $58 million Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
In 2016, Pace launched the largest-ever service expansion in the agency’s history, with the addition of six new routes, enhanced service on six other routes and the opened the I-90/Randall Road Park-n-Ride Station. Over the course of 2017, Pace and the Tollway worked together to improve service and the facilities, including the opening of the Flex Lanes and the new I-90/Illinois Route 25 Park-n-Ride Station.
This year, Pace opened the state’s first-ever inline station at the Barrington Road Park-n-Ride Station. This station helps reduce trip times and improve schedule reliability. In addition to expanded service and hundreds of free parking spots at multiple new facilities, 25 new buses were put into service to operate the I-90 express routes. These state-of-the-art vehicles feature comfortable, high-backed seats, overhead storage, individual overhead lights, USB charging ports and free onboard Wi-Fi.
In addition to Pace and Tollway, the I-90 transit integration also was supported by partners including the Federal Transit Administration, Regional Transportation Authority, Metra, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Cook County, Kane County, City of Elgin, Village of Hoffman Estates, Village of Rosemont, Village of Schaumburg and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Pace is Chicagoland’s suburban bus and regional paratransit provider. Pace’s family of public transportation services also includes vanpool, rideshare matching, community-based transportation programs, and, soon, Pulse, Pace’s new arterial rapid transit network. Learn more at PaceBus.com/Pulse.
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 294 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.
Dan Rozek, Illinois Tollway
Maggie Daly Skogsbakken, Pace Suburban Bus