Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Improve PACE Operations in Suburban Chicago Area
CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today announced a major investment to consolidate several PACE operations in one location to improve productivity, service and innovation for the Chicago-area bus transportation system. Approximately 300 new jobs will be created at the new combined facility. Today's announcement is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to create jobs and build a 21st century infrastructure that will drive Illinois' economy forward.
"Centralizing PACE operations makes sense for riders, for taxpayers and for those who work in the PACE system," Governor Quinn said. "A project like this creates jobs and will help ease the commute for thousands of residents on a daily basis. This investment will make it even easier for riders to travel safely to their destinations and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our transportation system."
PACE services are currently spread throughout the region and centralized operations will facilitate more efficient and cost-effective service. The $45 million investment from Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program will be used to design and construct three new facilities on a 22-acre site next to Pace's South Division Garage in Markham.
The campus will allow the consolidation of certain operational functions currently administered by multiple PACE garages into a single location. This will improve productivity and control costs by eliminating duplication. Design work will proceed during 2015 with construction bids for the project expected in 2016.
The three new structures will include:
- Active Transit Management Center, which will serve as a regional call center and provide central dispatching for PACE services for people with disabilities. It will include customer service, Dial-a-Ride and para-transit reservations, safety, operator training, system management and an IT data center. It will also include a driver training classroom.
- Acceptance Facility Garage, which will replace the existing facility in South Holland and include body repair work, mechanic training, farebox and radio repair, sign and shelter shops, upholstery and tire shops and other services.
- Central Warehouse, which will store vehicle parts and materials.
"In addition to efficiently streamlining a number of operational and administrative functions at this new campus, we view this as an important economic investment in Chicago's south suburbs," PACE Board Chairman Richard Kwasneski said. "We anticipate employing approximately 300 people at this new facility in addition to the 260 that now work at our existing South Division garage."
PACE is the suburban bus division of the Regional Transportation Authority with a service area covering 3,500 miles in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. PACE is one of the largest bus systems in North America and serves tens of thousands of daily riders with fixed bus routes, regional ADA paratransit service, vanpools and ridesharing services and Dial-a-Ride programs.
The PACE consolidation project is part of Governor Quinn's $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation.