Over three staggered shifts at the Pace River Division garage in Elgin, six mechanics and two service workers keep a fleet of 48 buses in top shape while serving the Elgin area. The 63,000-square-foot facility, on State Street, opened in 1986.
A few times a month, each bus goes in for regularly scheduled maintenance. Mechanics work on four to six buses a day depending on needs. The garage also services seven trolleys for Schaumburg that roam Woodfield Mall and surrounding shopping centers. A recent fleet addition has been five small hybrid buses, appropriately painted green, that run on ethanol and electricity that the River Division crew also maintain.
The maintenance team has won the company's "Circle of Excellence" award for 10 years in a row. Division manager Bill Lynch praises the team and their teamwork. "We have some exceptional mechanics that do a nice job," he says. "They keep our equipment in absolute top condition."
Work orders are placed each day for that day's work or the following. The crew in the stock room gets the parts ready to go for what's needed so that the mechanics can get to work right away. The stock room always keeps parts on the shelves so there is no delay in repairs. When buses come in for the night, two service workers go through a checklist which includes refueling the vehicles as well as putting them through the special bus wash and then parking them in the adjacent garage.