As part of Pace’s Vision 2020 plan to modernize public transportation, Pace is planning a 24-line Pulse network to enhance mobility and suburb-to-suburb travel options. Seven priority routes have been identified for development over the next 10 years, including Milwaukee Avenue, Dempster Street, Halsted Street, 95th Street, Cermak Road, Harlem Avenue, and Roosevelt Road.
The first two Pulse Service Lines being implemented are Milwaukee Avenue and Dempster Street. The remaining corridors in the network (as depicted on the corridor map) are in various stages of the planning process. As an indicator of how far along any particular future Pulse Line is, Pace has categorized a corridor as either an “active project”—which means the Line is under construction or Pace is designing the service and identifying station locations—or as “in development”, which means Pace is working with units of local government and community stakeholders to change land use and existing bus service to ensure future Pulse service is successful.
Simply stated, while all 24 identified corridors in the Pulse network show promise for facilitating Pace’s vision of high-quality, rapid bus service, most corridors require some level of additional work before the implementation of Pulse service can begin.
As a regional transportation provider, Pace relies on local partners to foster an environment that supports transit and each Pulse corridor has unique strengths and challenges that lend to this goal. As the Pulse program moves into the future, Pace is working with local and regional partners to identify issues and make recommendations for investments in infrastructure to support fast, frequent and reliable transit service in these corridors, to produce an operating environment where Pulse service can thrive.
For Corridors in Development, recommended Improvements may include:
- Assessing potential Pulse station sites and recommending sidewalk links where deficiencies exist and addressing deficiencies in the sidewalk network connecting to sites;
- Redesigning and improving pedestrian crossings, signals, striping, curbing and pedestrian infrastructure elements near station sites;
- Ensuring compliance with federally mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) design requirements at station sites;
- Selecting future station locations that take advantage of traffic signal priority (TSP) and other intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies at key intersections;
- Reconfiguring intersections, enhancing lane widths, advancing streetscaping projects, installing amenities for cyclists, reconfiguring parking spaces, and other roadway-specific improvements;
- Implementing land use and roadway policies that support transit;
- Assessing existing and future transit demand and markets within corridors; and
- Identifying funding opportunities for implementation of recommendations.
Achieving Corridor Planning Results
The coordination efforts listed above are often promoted through Pace’s participation in planning studies sponsored by our local and regional partners.
In November 2018 the Regional Transportation Authority and Pace completed the following corridor planning effort:
Other completed corridor and related planning efforts include:
- 95th Street Corridor Transportation Plan
- 159th Street Corridor Planning Study
- ART Implementation Plan
- Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Market Research Project (Cermak-Butterfield Corridor)
- Cook DuPage Area Rapid Transit Investment Study
- North Avenue Corridor Study
- Pace's Arterial Rapid Transit Study
- South Harlem Avenue Corridor Study
The outcome of these studies will support forthcoming planning work on future Pulse lines.
Beyond providing project-specific recommendations for these types of studies, Pace also regularly encourages municipalities and developers to incorporate the agency’s Transit Supportive Guidelines. This document provides a range of design and policy solutions that support the operation of all Pace services, including Pulse.
Implementing Pulse Service
Pace continually evaluates corridors and tracks planned developments to ensure that investments enhance the transit system.
As part of the planning process, Pace assesses Pulse funding requirements and applies for state, federal and/or local grants for projects that are ready for implementation. Typically, these funds are used for designing the service, fulfilling federally-mandated environmental reviews, acquiring land, upgrading infrastructure, constructing stations and support facilities, and procuring vehicles. Given the level of investment associated with Pulse, Pace continues to look to our local partners to support this service with transit friendly infrastructure and development in order to maximize regional transportation dollars.
Please visit the Active Projects section on the Pulse Homepage for examples of corridors that are currently being implemented.