Pace Board of Directors approves two rideshare pilots and contract for ADA paratransit service in DuPage and Kane Counties

March 16, 2023
The board awarded an 18-month contract for rideshare services to Via, as well as a seven-year contract to SCR for its paratransit services.

The Pace Board of Directors has approved two rideshare pilots and will continue its critical ADA paratransit service in DuPage and Kane Counties uninterrupted.

Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger reported several positive updates to the board, including the award of first place AdWheel Award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for Pace’s recent campaign focusing on soaring gas prices, a surge of applications for bus operator positions thanks to ongoing recruitment events and partnerships with community colleges and the launch of a new VanGoprogram in Palatine.

Metzger noted that VanGo, “is an innovative approach to first mile/last mile transportation. We have designated two spaces at the Palatine Metra Station, making this the third VanGo location.” The first two VanGo locations are at the Deerfield and Lake Forest Metra stations.

The Pace Board awarded an 18-month contract for rideshare—or transportation network company (TNC)—services to Via. The company will operate accessible vehicles to pick up riders in two areas. One TNC pilot will serve employees commuting from the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line to cargo areas at the south end of O’Hare Airport. The other will serve an area surrounding Pace’s Harvey Transportation Center bounded by 144th St., I-94, I-294 and I-57.

While both areas are already served by Pace fixed routes, these pilots offer first-/last-mile service and operate throughout nighttime and early morning hours when regular service is limited.

“If this goes well, obviously we want to try to identify other areas that are similar,” said Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski. “Throughout the region, there are these little gaps, especially where there are three shifts.”

The pilots will help Pace determine whether it is suitable, cost-effective, and efficient to incorporate this service type into Pace's family of services. The contract includes six months for planning and a year of service.

Pace’s Board also voted to award a seven-year contract to SCR, an existing paratransit vendor, that will continue paratransit services to residents of DuPage and Kane Counties. Pace also operates its own fixed route and On Demand services in this region and has partnered with Uber to increase the capacity of DuPage County’s paratransit system.