IDOT and Pace team up to innovate for transit riders
What will the future of transit look like? Federal, state and local governments have reached a day of reckoning brought on by a mix of over-spent budgets and a sluggish economy, but people still need to get to work. In addition, policy-makers must balance concerns for the environment and quality of life for their constituents.
Enter the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Pace Suburban Bus who have teamed up to unveil a product called “Bus on Shoulder” which will provide high-level, efficient service to commuters on the I55 corridor and could lead to a shift in the way commuters and tax-payers think about bus systems. Beginning November 14th, Bus on Shoulder service will allow express service buses on the I55 corridor to drive on designated portions of the road’s shoulder during heavily congested traffic conditions. The service is expected to increase the accuracy and efficiency of bus service on I55 and provide a reliable alternative to driving or rail on this heavily trafficked route. In order to accomodate the extra weight, the shoulders have been reinforced in the designated areas and many safety precautions have been implemented. Another major draw is the inclusion of free Wi-Fi internet service for riders.
As budgets continue to shrink and commuter demands continue to grow, Bus on Shoulder will provide a lower-cost, high efficiency alternative to traditional transit systems. Between the Tollway, IDOT, Metra, CTA, Pace the RTA and the many communities served by these entities, the Chicago region’s transportation network will undergo major changes in the coming years. If Bus on Shoulder catches on and proves to be a viable alternative to traditional transit, commuters should keep their eyes peeled for other innovative solutions such as Bus Rapid Transit along the I90 corridor and in the City of Chicago as well as light rail systems.
For a full explanation of the Bus on Shoulder program check out the joint IDOT/Pace website. You can also take a moment to watch this great video.