Quigley’s “Mike on the Move” Tour Highlights Pace Suburban Bus System
CHICAGO — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), took his “Mike on the Move” transportation initiative to the suburbs with a ride along Pace Route 301. His ride highlighted Pace’s integration of Chicago’s many suburban neighborhoods and its work as the largest provider of paratransit service in the United States.
“Chicago is known as a city of neighborhoods, and our suburbs are no exception. With so much to see, eat and tour in Chicago’s suburbs, it is crucial that we have affordable, accessible public transportation connecting the suburbs to each other and the City – and Pace provides just that,” said Rep. Quigley. “Today’s tour along Pace Route 301 highlighted the great service that Pace is providing my constituents. It also showed how Pace is using innovation to tackle today’s problems with the introduction of their new Pulse line and Ride DuPage program. As the only Illinois member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m committed to driving federal dollars back to the Chicagoland area so that our transportation agencies have the funding they needs to serve our residents and plan for the future. Thank you to Pace Executive Director Ross and the entire staff for an informative experience.”
During his tour, Rep. Quigley rode Pace Route 301 from the CTA Blue Line Forest Park Transit Center to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. He learned about Pulse, Pace’s new rapid transit network that provides enhanced express bus service to commuters along a streamlined route. The first line along Milwaukee Avenue is scheduled to launch in 2017, and a second line, the Dempster Line, is scheduled to service commuters between O’Hare and Evanston. Rep. Quigley also learned about Pace’s plans to expand the Rosemont Transit Center to accommodate the newly expanded express bus service on the future bus-only shoulder of I-90. Pace is seeking to improve traffic flow for buses and other vehicles at the station, enhance the kiss-n-ride area, and better contain pedestrian traffic onto safe walkways.
Rep. Mike Quigley on Pace Route 301 with Pace Executive Director TJ Ross.
Rep. Mike Quigley with Pace Executive Director TJ Ross (left) and Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens (right) at the Rosemont Transit Center.
“We’re grateful to Congressman Quigley for taking the time to learn more about Pace service,” said Richard A. Kwasneski, Pace Board Chairman. He understands the importance of the service relied upon by thousands of people every day providing convenient connections between Cook and DuPage counties. His strong support for public transit in Congress has been unwavering, which will be important as we continue our work with Metra, CTA and RTA to address the shortage of funding necessary to achieve a state of good repair.”
At Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, Rep. Quigley inspected a Ride DuPage mini bus. Ride DuPage is a county-wide paratransit program created in partnership by Pace, DuPage County and several units of local government. The program now stands as a model of success for other counties.
“I am glad to have Congressman Quigley come by with Pace executives to learn about the vital role PACE plays in providing accessibility of healthcare to patients and employees of Elmhurst Hospital,” said Diane McGinnis, Elmhurst Hospital Community and Government Relations. “The unique relationship between Route 301, Elmhurst Hospital, and the surrounding community as a whole is something I hope will continue and grow in the future.”
Rep. Mike Quigley rides Pace mini bus to Elmhurst Hospital with Doug Sullivan, Pace Marketing Department Manager (middle) and TJ Ross, Pace Executive Director (right).
Pace was created by the 1983 RTA Act to unify the numerous disparate suburban bus agencies that existed at that time. The backbone of Chicago's suburbs, Pace serves tens of thousands of daily riders, covers 3,500 square miles and is the one of the largest bus services in North America. It has routes in six counties – suburban Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will – and 284 municipalities. Accessibility has always been a hallmark of Pace service. Pace provided ''Section 504'' service to people with disabilities several years before this type of service was required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Pace worked hard to establish itself as a leader in providing efficient, quality service to people with disabilities and in 2016 took over ADA paratransit in Chicago from the CTA. The move made Pace the largest providers of paratransit service in the United States.
Rep. Quigley’s “Mike on the Move” initiative emphasizes how the federal government can support transportation and infrastructure investments. Previous “Mike on the Move” events highlighted CTA Red and Purple Line renovation sites, the 606 bike and pedestrian trail during construction and shortly after it opened, Chicago’s Metra system’s century old switching tower and Amerail passenger car rehabilitation project, innovative bike and pedestrian trails around the city, large road construction projects, and Chicago’s notorious rail congestion.
As Illinois’ only member on the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Quigley has pushed for a long-term surface transportation bill and prioritized Chicago-area infrastructure investments as a member of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD). He has helped secure $35 million in Core Capacity grants to benefit CTA and over $100 million for projects to ease flooding in Cook County. Most recently he fought for increased funding for the TIGER grant program to benefit both highways and pedestrian projects.