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Article updated: 8/30/2013 6:31 PM

Pace plans new Elgin service on I-90 by 2016

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Pace Bus is planning to offer by 2016 new express bus service along Interstate 90 from Elgin. One service will go to Rosemont and the second to Schaumburg. There will also be two park-n-ride locations in Elgin.

Pace is working with the Illinois State Tollway Authority as part of the tollway's rebuilding and widening project, Pace senior planner Charlotte O'Donnell told the Elgin City Council this week.

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Options include either a bus-only shoulder lane, or high occupancy vehicle lanes, similar to carpool-only lanes in California.

Pace bus service on the Interstate 55 shoulder was implemented in 2011, and ridership increased dramatically with 90 percent on-time service, O'Donnell said.

Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot said the agency received a five-year, federal Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant for the 2016 project.

On Aug. 19 Pace started additional service between Rosemont and Schaumburg, and between Rosemont and Prairie Stone Transporation Center in Hoffman Estates. At the same time, a free park-n-ride lot opened at the Sears Centre, Wilmot said.

By 2016, there will be three more park-n-ride locations along I-90 at Randall Road and Route 25 in Elgin, and at Barrington Road in Hoffman Estates.

The two new express bus routes planned for Elgin are Route 605 to the CTA blue line in Rosemont, and Route 607 to the Northwest Transporation Center in Schaumburg, he said.

The bus trip from Elgin to Rosemont would take a little less than 50 minutes, O'Donnell said.

People will be able to use Pace's van pool program to get to the park-n-ride locations, Wilmot said.

Also, the final plan includes expanding the call-n-ride program along the I-90 corridor. Possible locations are the Barrington area, Schaumburg and the area near the Des Plaines Oasis, Wilmot said.

There are no plans for additional call-n-rides from Elgin, partly because of its "strong fixed route network," O'Donnell said.

Currently, the closest call-n-ride areas to Elgin are St. Charles and Geneva, Wilmot said.

Separately from the 2016 plan, Pace is also in discussion with the Rockford Mass Transit District about potentially providing service from Elgin to Rockford, Wilmot said.

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