New pedestrian bridge at Barrington Road part of express bus option on I-90

 
 
Updated 6/13/2017 6:33 PM
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  • Workers are constructing a pedestrian overpass at Barrington Road and I-90 where a Pace park-and-ride will be located to accommodate express buses.

    Workers are constructing a pedestrian overpass at Barrington Road and I-90 where a Pace park-and-ride will be located to accommodate express buses. COURTESY OF PACE

Normally, pedestrians and thousands of cars, SUVs and semitrailers a day don't mix, but an exception to the rule is being built at the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) and Barrington Road.

A glass-paneled bridge will carry pedestrians across the teeming toll road to free parking lots and express buses on both sides of I-90 when it's complete late this year.

The innovative project is part of an upgrade of transit along the Jane Addams corridor by Pace in collaboration with the Illinois tollway.

On either side of the bridge will be park-n-ride lots providing a total of 170 spaces. Once at the Barrington Park-n-Ride, commuters will be able to catch a trio of express buses with services to destinations including downtown Elgin, the Rosemont CTA station and the Northwest Transportation Center in Schaumburg.

Another feature will be stops on each side of the expressway with a special lane where buses can drop off and pick up passengers without exiting the toll road.

"It's the first of its kind," Pace Media Relations Manager Maggie Daly Skogsbakken said. Planners hope the combination of a convenient location, free parking and reliable schedules will draw and retain passengers.

Bus Routes 603, 605, and 607 serving the Barrington Road Park-n-Ride will offer free Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and comfortable seats.

"We hope people will test it and see if it works for them," Daly Skogsbakken said.

And in August, the express buses will begin a Bus-On-Shoulder operation, where drivers can hop on a new "flex" shoulder lane when traffic slows to less than 35 mph.

In the first quarter of 2018, Pace expects to finish two Kiss-n-Ride locations at I-90 and Barrington Road accessible by an underpass where drivers can drop off passengers.

Pace also will add a local bus that travels south on Barrington Road intended to serve local business and residential centers. The exact route will be determined later.

In addition to the Barrington Road Park-n-Ride, Pace has two others on the Jane Addams. A Park-n-Ride at I-90 and Randall Road opened in December 2016 with capacity for 150 cars and connections to Bus Routes 550 and expresses 605 and 607.

Construction will start in July on a Park-n-Ride at I-90 and Route 25. The facility will have 199 parking spaces and link to express Routes 603, 605 and 607 and Route 543.

Typically fares starting with Pace cost $1.75 and 25 cents for a transfer using a Ventra card. Trips starting with a CTA train are $2.50, which includes a 25 cent transfer to Pace.

The I-90 corridor accommodates about 13 percent of the region's work trips, and planners hope better transit options will increase employment opportunities.

For more information, go to pacebus.com.

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