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posted: 8/16/2014 7:41 AM

Pace, Rosemont propose cutting lunchtime circulator route to entertainment district

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  • A "lunchtime circulator" route that brings office workers to Rosemont's entertainment district on weekdays may go to the chopping block.

       A "lunchtime circulator" route that brings office workers to Rosemont's entertainment district on weekdays may go to the chopping block.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer, 2013

 
 

An infrequently used "lunchtime circulator" Pace bus route that brings people to and from the Rosemont entertainment district on weekdays may be eliminated.

Rosemont and Pace officials created Route 810 in May 2013 with the intention of making it easier for office workers to dine at restaurants at MB Financial Park.

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They're now proposing to cut the service because of low ridership, in which an average of 5 to 7 riders use the line every day. Those numbers, officials say, don't justify the $78,500 annual cost to operate the route, in which Pace covers 60 percent of the cost and Rosemont covers 40 percent.

"The village approached us with the idea of a lunchtime circulator," said Patrick Wilmot, a Pace spokesman. "It made a lot of sense to ... bring people from farther north in Rosemont to farther south in Rosemont where they might have some more options to have lunch.

"We tried to promote the route and unfortunately it didn't catch on."

The lunchtime route -- free to the public -- makes stops at roughly 10-minute intervals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. It extends as far north as Devon Avenue and goes down River Road to as far south as the Fashion Outlets of Chicago.

By contrast, Route 811 -- Rosemont's "entertainment circulator" that operates seven days a week -- has ridership numbers averaging 858 on weekdays, 1,164 on Saturdays and 711 on Sundays, officials say.

The route, which takes riders from the CTA Blue Line station to the entertainment district, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and Fashion Outlets, was created last August to coincide with the mall's opening.

The village board this week renewed an agreement with Pace that keeps the route in operation through July 2015. It will cost $827,000 a year to run, with Pace and the village sharing costs under the same 60-40 arrangement.

"By all measures that route has been a huge success," Wilmot said. "We'll try out a new type of service and sometimes it works like 811, and it sometimes it doesn't like 810."

A required public hearing on the proposal to eliminate Route 810 is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 at village hall, 9501 W. Devon Ave.

The Pace board of directors will vote on the proposal Sept. 10, and the route's last day could be as early as Sept. 12.

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