Pace Suburban Bus
ParentRegional Transportation Authority
Founded1983; 41 years ago (1983)
HeadquartersArlington Heights, Illinois
LocaleNortheastern Illinois
Service areaCook, Lake, Will, Kane, McHenry, and DuPage Counties
Service typeBus service, paratransit
Fleet792 buses
616 vans
440 owned vehicles in paratransit service
132 community vehicles[1]
Daily ridership73,100 (weekdays, Q1 2024)[2]
Annual ridership20,085,800 (2023)[3]
Fuel typeDiesel, Diesel-Electric, CNG
Executive DirectorMelinda Metzger

Pace is the suburban bus and regional paratransit division of the Regional Transportation Authority serving the Chicago metropolitan area. It was created in 1983 by the RTA Act, which established the formula that provides funding to the CTA, Metra, and Pace. The various agencies providing bus service in the Chicago suburbs were merged under the Suburban Bus Division, which rebranded as Pace in 1984. In 2022, Pace had 18.041 million riders.[4]

Pace is headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois and is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, 12 of which are current and former suburban mayors. The remaining director is the Commissioner of the Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, who represents the city's paratransit riders.[5]

Service area

Pace serves Cook County, Illinois (where Chicago is located), as well as Lake, Will, Kane, McHenry, and DuPage counties, which are the collar counties of the Chicago metropolitan area. Some of Pace's bus routes also go to Chicago and Northwest Indiana. In some areas, notably Evanston, River Forest, Oak Park, Cicero, and Skokie, both Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority provide service.

Many of Pace's route terminals are located at CTA rail stations and bus terminals and Metra stations. The CTA and Pace have shared a payment system since 2014 called Ventra. Ventra accounts are required to obtain transfers.[6] In 2015, Metra was added to the Ventra app.[7]

Pace buses generally have longer routes than CTA buses. Due to its geographic service area, service is provided by eleven operating divisions (see below), as well as under agreements with several municipalities and private operators (school bus and motor coach companies). Pace buses provide service from the suburbs to various special events in the city, such as Routes 282 and 779 for Chicago Cubs games, Routes 773, 774 and 775 for Chicago White Sox games, Routes 236, 768, 769 and 776 for Chicago Bears games, Route 222 provides extra service to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont for events scheduled there, Route 284 to Six Flags Great America, Route 307 for events at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.[8]


Pace Bus

The majority of Pace bus routes run daily, seven days a week. Other routes run Monday through Saturday, weekdays only, or weekday rush hours only. One route, 352 Halsted, runs 24 hours a day/seven days a week, and four routes 390, 392, 395 and 890, run only for weekday UPS shifts changes.

During weekday rush hours, Pace buses are authorized to use the shoulder of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, Edens Expressway, and Stevenson Expressway to avoid traffic congestion.[9]

Route list

Pace Pulse Routes
Route Name[10][11] Northern/Western Terminus Via Southern/Eastern Terminus Operates Garage
100 Pulse Milwaukee Metra Jefferson Park Oak Mill Mall Golf Mill Daily Northwest
101 Pulse Dempster Metra Davis CTA/Metra Downtown Evanston
Dempster–Skokie CTA
Advocate Lutheran Hospital
Metra Des Plaines Metra
Allstate Arena
Metra O'Hare International Airport O'Hare MMF Daily Northwest
Pace Suburban Bus Routes
Route Name[12][13] Northern/Western Terminus Southern/Eastern Terminus Operates Garage
208 Golf Road Metra Davis CTA/Metra Northwest TC (Schaumburg) Mon-Sat Northwest
209 Busse Highway Cumberland CTA Metra Des Plaines Metra Weekdays Northwest
210 Lincoln Avenue Lincolnwood Town Center Glenbrook Hospital Weekdays North Shore/
213 Green Bay Road Howard CTA Metra Highland Park Metra Mon-Sat North Shore
215 Crawford – Howard Howard CTA Old Orchard Daily North Shore/
221 Wolf Road Wolf/Piper (Wheeling) Rosemont CTA Weekdays Northwest
223 Elk Grove – Rosemont CTA Tower/Mark (Bensenville) Rosemont CTA Daily Northwest
225 Central – Howard Oakton/Harlem (Niles) Metra Jefferson Park Weekdays Northwest
226 Oakton Street Oakton/Diane (Arlington Heights) Metra Jefferson Park Weekdays Northwest
230 South Des Plaines Algonquin/Linneman (Mount Prospect) Rosemont CTA Weekdays Northwest
234 Wheeling – Des Plaines Buffalo Grove Park-n-Ride Metra Des Plaines Metra Weekdays Northwest
240 Dee Road Golf Mill Cumberland CTA Weekdays Northwest
241 Greenwood – Talcott Golf Mill Cumberland CTA Weekday Rush Northwest
250 Dempster Street Metra O'Hare International Airport O'Hare MMF Metra Davis CTA/Metra Daily Northwest
270 Milwaukee Avenue Glenbrook Hospital Metra Jefferson Park Daily Northwest
272 Milwaukee Avenue North Hawthorn Mall Golf Mill Mon-Sat North
290 Touhy Avenue Cumberland CTA Howard CTA Daily Northwest
301 Roosevelt Road Metra Wheaton Metra
DuPage County Judicial Center (weekday rush)
Oakbrook Center (weekends)
Forest Park CTA Daily West
302 Ogden – Stanley Metra La Grange Metra Cermak/Cicero Mon-Sat West
303 Forest Park – Rosemont Rosemont CTA (weekdays)
North/9th (Melrose Park) (weekends)
Forest Park CTA Daily West
305 East Roosevelt Road Cicero Blue Line CTA Forest Park CTA Daily West
307 Harlem Grand/Nordica (Montclare) Bridgeview Transit Center Daily West
308 Medical Center Forest Park CTA Hines Hospital (Hines) Daily West
309 Lake Street Metra Elmhurst Metra Lake/Austin Daily West
310 Madison Street – Hillside Harrison/Wolf (Hillside) Forest Park CTA Daily West
311 Oak Park Avenue North/Narragansett (Austin) 47th/Lawndale (Lyons) Daily West
313 St. Charles Road Branding/Finley (Downers Grove) Lake/Austin Daily West
314 Ridgeland Avenue Lake/Cuyler (Oak Park) Morton College Mon-Sat West
315 Austin Boulevard Lake/Austin Central/38th (Cicero) Daily West
316 Laramie Avenue Cicero Blue Line CTA Morton College Mon-Sat West
317 Westchester Balmoral/Canterbury (Westchester) Forest Park CTA Daily West
318 West North Avenue Northlake Commons (Northlake) Forest Park CTA Daily West
319 Grand Avenue North/Wolf (Northlake)
Metra Bensenville Metra (weekday rush)
Grand/Nordica (Montclare) Mon-Sat West
322 Cermak Road – 22nd Street Yorktown Center 54th/Cermak CTA Daily West
330 Mannheim – LaGrange Roads Metra O'Hare International Airport O'Hare MMF Archer/Harlem (Summit) Daily West
331 Cumberland - 5th Avenue Cumberland CTA Metra La Grange Metra (weekdays)
Brookfield Village Hall
Mon-Sat West
332 River Road – York Road Rosemont CTA Oakbrook Center (weekdays)
O'Hare Delta Cargo (weekends)
Daily West
348 Harvey – Riverdale – Blue Island Metra Blue Island Metra Metra Harvey Transportation Center Weekdays South
349 South Western 79th/Western (Ashburn) Metra Harvey Transportation Center Daily South
350 Sibley Morton/Willow (Hammond, IN) Metra Harvey Transportation Center Daily South
352 Halsted 95th/Dan Ryan CTA Chicago Heights Terminal Daily South
353 95th – River Oaks – Homewood 95th/Dan Ryan CTA Homewood Park-n-Ride Daily South
354 Harvey – Oak Forest Loop Metra Harvey Transportation Center (loop) Mon-Sat South
356 Harvey – Homewood – Tinley Park Metra Homewood Metra Metra Harvey Transportation Center Daily South
357 Lincoln Highway Lawrence Manor (Matteson) Woodlawn/13th Pl (Ford Heights) Daily South
358 Torrence South Shore Line Hegewisch South Shore Chicago Heights Terminal Mon-Sat South
359 Robbins – South Kedzie Avenue 95th/Dan Ryan CTA Metra Homewood Metra (weekdays)
Stonebridge/Kedzie (Hazel Crest)
Daily South
360 Harvey – Amazon Monee Express Metra Harvey Transportation Center Monee Amazon MDW7 Daily South
361 Harvey – Laraway Crossings Express Laraway Crossings Amazon MDW2, MDW4 (Joliet) Metra Harvey Transportation Center Daily South
364 159th Street Herion/Wheeler (Orland Park) Morton/Willow (Hammond, IN)
South Shore Line Hegewisch South Shore (weekends)
Daily South
366 Park Forest – Chicago Heights Downtown Park Forest Chicago Heights Terminal Daily South
367 University Park – Park Forest Downtown Park Forest Metra University Park Metra (weekdays)
Thornwood House (Saturdays)
Mon-Sat South
379 Midway – Orland Park Orland Square Mall Midway International Airport Midway CTA Daily Southwest/West
381 95th Street Moraine Valley Community College 95th/Dan Ryan CTA Daily Southwest
383 South Cicero Midway International Airport Midway CTA Oak Forest Health Center Daily Southwest
384 Narragansett / Ridgeland Midway International Airport Midway CTA 111th/Natchez (Worth) Daily Southwest
385 87th – 111th – 127th Midway International Airport Midway CTA Ridgecrest Shopping Center (Crestwood) Weekdays Southwest
386 South Harlem Midway International Airport Midway CTA North Creek Business Center (Tinley Park) Daily Southwest
390 Midway CTA – UPS Hodgkins Limited UPS Hodgkins Midway International Airport Midway CTA Weekdays Southwest/West
392 Little Village – UPS Hodgkins UPS Hodgkins Cicero/Lake Weekdays West
395 95th/Dan Ryan CTA - UPS Hodgkins Limited UPS Hodgkins 95th/Dan Ryan CTA Weekdays Southwest/South
410 East Niles Local Golf Mill Village Crossing Daily Contracted to
Village of Niles
411 West Niles Local Daily
412 North Niles Circulator Golf Mill (loop) Daily
421 Wilmette Avenue Northfield Plaza (Northfield) Linden CTA Weekdays North Shore
422 Linden CTA – Glenview – Northbrook Court Northbrook Court
Old Orchard
Linden CTA Weekdays North Shore/
423 Linden CTA – The Glen – Harlem CTA Linden CTA Harlem/Bryn Mawr Weekdays North Shore/
471 Highland Park – Northbrook Court Metra Highland Park Metra Northbrook Court
Crossroads Shopping Center (Northbrook)
Mon-Sat Contracted to
Highland Park
472 Highland Park – Highwood Metra Fort Sheridan Metra US-41/Park Ave (Highland Park) Mon-Sat
475 Ravinia Ravinia Park-n-Ride Ravinia Festival Special events
501 West Jefferson Rock Run Business Park (Joliet) Metra Joliet Transportation Center Mon-Sat
504 South Joliet Metra Joliet Transportation Center Laraway Crossings (Joliet) Weekdays
505 West Joliet Loop Metra Joliet Transportation Center Mon-Sat
507 Plainfield Louis Joliet Mall Metra Joliet Transportation Center Mon-Sat
508 East Joliet Metra Joliet Transportation Center Silver Cross Hospital Mon-Sat
509 Joliet – Fairmont Metra Joliet Transportation Center Fairmont School (Fairmont) Mon-Sat
511 Joliet – Elwood – CenterPoint Metra Joliet Transportation Center CenterPoint Intermodal Center Weekdays
512 Joliet – CenterPoint Metra Joliet Transportation Center CenterPoint Intermodal Center Weekdays
524 West Aurora Woodman's (North Aurora) Metra Aurora Transportation Center Mon-Sat
530 West Galena – Naperville Galena/Constitution (Aurora) Metra Naperville Metra Mon-Sat
533 Northeast Aurora Walmart (Aurora) Metra Aurora Transportation Center Mon-Sat
540 Farnsworth Avenue Walmart (Aurora) Rush-Copley Medical Center Weekdays
541 Northeast Elgin Metra Elgin Transportation Center (loop) Mon-Sat
542 Bluff City Metra Elgin Transportation Center Elgin High School Mon-Sat
543 Dundee – Carpentersville Meadowdale Shopping Center Metra Elgin Transportation Center Mon-Sat
546 Orange – Walnut Elgin Shopping Mall Metra Elgin Transportation Center Weekdays
547 Wing Park Wing/McLean (Elgin) Metra Elgin Transportation Center Mon-Sat
548 Highland Ascension St. Joseph Hospital (Elgin) Metra Elgin Transportation Center Mon-Sat
549 South Randall Meijer (Elgin) Metra Elgin Transportation Center Mon-Sat
550 Elgin Transportation Center – Crystal Lake Metra Crystal Lake Metra Metra Elgin Transportation Center Weekdays
552 North State – Spring Hill Mall Spring Hill Mall Metra Elgin Transportation Center Mon-Sat
554 Elgin – Woodfield Metra Elgin Transportation Center Northwest TC (Schaumburg) Mon-Sat
559 Illinois Route 59 Monarch Landing (Naperville) Fox Valley Mall
IL-59/High Meadow
561 Castlecrest via McAree Newcastle/Edgewood (Beach Park) Metra Waukegan Metra Mon-Sat
562 Gurnee via Sunset Gurnee Industrial Park Metra Waukegan Metra Weekdays
563 Great Lakes Naval Station Metra Waukegan Metra Naval Station Great Lakes Weekdays
564 Jackson – 14th Fountain Square Metra Waukegan Metra Mon-Sat
565 Grand Avenue College of Lake County Metra Waukegan Metra Daily
566 McAree – Keller McCall School (Beach Park) Whispering Oaks Apartments (Waukegan) Weekday rush
568 Belvidere Fountain Square Metra Waukegan Metra Daily
569 Lewis Lewis/Edgewood (Waukegan) Lovell Federal Health Care Center Weekdays
570 Fox Lake – CLC Metra Fox Lake Metra College of Lake County Mon-Sat
571 Zion Downtown Zion Metra Waukegan Metra Daily
572 Washington College of Lake County Metra Waukegan Metra Mon-Sat
573 Green Bay Road McCall School (Beach Park) Whispering Oaks Apartments (Waukegan) Weekday rush
574 CLC – Hawthorn Mall College of Lake County Hawthorn Mall Mon-Sat

Pace Pulse

Main article: Pace Pulse

Pulse Milwaukee Line

Pace began operating a new rapid transit service between the Jefferson Park Transit Center and Golf Mill Shopping Center on August 11, 2019.[14] The new Pulse service overlaps with part of Pace route 270 which saw a reduction in the route's service frequency.[15]

Pulse Dempster Line

The Pace Pulse line on Dempster Street spans Evanston, Skokie, and Des Plaines, and terminates at O'Hare International Airport.[16] The Dempster Pulse line inaugural run was on August 13, 2023 with a full launch on October 29, 2023.[17] The route connects to the Chicago "L" with the CTA Purple Line's Davis station and the CTA Yellow Line's Dempster–Skokie station. It also connects to Metra stations at Evanston Davis Street on the Union Pacific North Line and Des Plaines on the Union Pacific Northwest Line.

Priority Corridors for Future Development

Pace is also considering adding routes from Cermak Road, Harlem Avenue and Roosevelt Road. All three proposed routes start from the southwest side of Chicago and provide routes to either the West Suburbs or in the case of the Harlem route, further south in Chicago.[18]

I-90 Express

Main article: Pace I-90 Express

In December 2016, Pace began an on-highway BRT express bus service between Rosemont Transportation Center and Elgin on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. The service uses "flex lanes" to avoid traffic and features train station like stops.[19][20]

ADA services

Pace is responsible for ADA paratransit service in its service area, and, effective July 1, 2006, for paratransit service in Chicago.[21] Pace also coordinates various Dial-a-Ride projects, usually sponsored by various municipalities and townships.[22] One of the largest is Ride DuPage, sponsored by Du Page County Human Services.[23] All Pace buses are wheelchair accessible and have racks accommodating one bicycle, available during all hours of operation. Pace claims itself as the nation's largest paratransit service provider, providing approximately 17,000 daily trips on paratransit, dial-a-ride and ADvAntage vanpools.[24]

Vanpool incentive program

Pace operates a Vanpool Incentive Program, where groups save by commuting together in a van owned and maintained by Pace and driven by one of the participants.[25] There is also a Municipal Vanpool Program, under which Pace provides a van to a municipality, for any public transportation purpose (such as demand response service for senior citizens).[26]

Operational structure

Given Pace's large service area, it is broken up into eleven operating divisions. Additionally, Niles, Highland Park and Schaumburg operate routes on behalf of Pace.

Pace bus #2741 in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Pace bus #20405 at Yorktown Center.
Division Garage Location Areas Served Notes
Fox Valley North Aurora Aurora and Naperville
Heritage Plainfield Will County
McHenry McHenry McHenry County
North Waukegan Waukegan and Lake County
North Shore Evanston North Cook County and southeast Lake County
Northwest Des Plaines Northwest Cook County
River South Elgin Elgin Area and Far western suburbs
South Markham Southern Cook County and DuPage County The only garage with CNG buses. As of September 2022, under construction to become a CNG bus maintenance facility. (Currently only offers CNG fueling.)
South Holland South Holland n/a Acceptance facility for new buses and maintains electronic equipment on buses
Southwest Bridgeview Southwest Cook County and DuPage County
West Melrose Park Western Cook and DuPage counties


Bus fleet

In 2011, Pace received its first diesel-electric hybrid buses from Orion Bus Industries. These Orion VII buses were the first buses in the Pace fleet to not be powered directly by diesel. In 2015, Pace received its first fleet of compressed natural gas buses from ElDorado National; these buses operate mainly in the southern suburbs.[citation needed]

Year Manufacturer & Model Length Engine Type Numbers Divisions Notes
2006–2010 ENC EZ-Rider II MAX 30 ft
(9.1 m)
Diesel 2600–2825
(222 buses)
Fox Valley, Heritage, Highland Park, Northwest, River, Southwest, Village of Niles
2011 ENC EZ-Rider II BRT 32 ft
(9.8 m)
Diesel 2826–2829
(4 buses)
Fox Valley
2011 Orion VII 30 ft
(9.1 m)
(2 buses)
Highland Park
  • Used on routes 471 and 472.
  • First hybrid buses ordered by Pace, painted in a green livery.
MCI D4000CT 40 ft
(12 m)
Diesel 6950–6979
(30 buses)
  • Used on routes 755, 850, 851 and 855 as part of "Bus on Shoulder" operations on I-55.
2012–2018 ENC Axess BRT 40 ft
(12 m)
Diesel 6323–6575
(337 buses)
North, North Shore, Northwest, River, Southwest, West
2015–2020 ENC Axess BRT 40 ft
(12 m)
CNG 15500–15520
(108 buses)
  • First CNG powered buses ordered by Pace
2020 New Flyer Xcelsior XD40 40 ft
(12 m)
Diesel 20400–20485
(85 buses)
2021 ENC Axess BRT 30 ft
(9.1 m)
Diesel 20300–20322
(23 buses)
Fox Valley
2023 Proterra ZX5 MAX 40ft (12 m) Electric N/A (20 buses) North Announced on 4/5/2022: Proterra won a $26.5M contract from Pace Suburban Bus to deliver 20 Proterra ZX5 Max electric transit buses (675kWh battery) and EV fleet charging infrastructure, with the first electric bus delivery in 2023.


  1. ^ About Pace
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2023" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 4, 2024. Retrieved March 14, 2024.
  3. ^ "Transit Ridership Report First Quarter 2024" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. May 23, 2024. Retrieved May 31, 2024.
  4. ^ "Transitions & Innovations: 2022 Annual Report" (PDF).
  5. ^ Pace. "Pace Board of Directors". Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  6. ^ "Ventra™ is here, Pace riders" (Press release). Pace. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  7. ^ "CTA, Metra and Pace Release New Ventra App to the Public". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  8. ^ Pace. "Special Events". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  9. ^ "Pace Buses to Ride on Shoulder of I-55". NBC 5 Chicago. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Pace Bus Routes". RTAMS. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  11. ^ "Routes, Schedules, and Maps". Pace. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  12. ^ "Pace Bus Routes". RTAMS. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  13. ^ "Routes, Schedules, and Maps". Pace. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  14. ^ "Pulse-Launch-Newsletter7.12.19.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-11-12.
  15. ^ Greenfield, John (2019-08-06). "Pace's Pulse Service, Launching Sunday, Isn't BRT But It Will Be an Upgrade". Retrieved 2019-11-12.
  16. ^ "Faster bus service to O'Hare is on the way". 12 July 2022.
  17. ^ "Pulse - Dempster Line Route | Pace Suburban Bus".
  18. ^ "Priority Corridors for Future Development | Pace Suburban Bus". 27 May 2020.
  19. ^ Danahey, Mike (21 December 2016). "New Pace bus routes between Elgin and suburban locations launched this week". Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  20. ^ "Pace Bus". Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  21. ^ Illinois General Assembly (2005). "Public Act 0370, 94th General Assembly".
  22. ^ Pace. "Dial-a-ride Service Directory". Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  23. ^ DuPage County. "Ride DuPage".
  24. ^ Pace. Moving Forward (newsletter), July 23, 2010.
  25. ^ Pace. "Vanpool Incentive Program". Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  26. ^ Pace. "Municipal Vanpool Program". Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  27. ^ "Pace Divisions | Pace Suburban Bus". Retrieved 2021-04-19.