Chicago’s Pace Suburban Bus was named Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC), a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting clean-vehicles and clean-air solutions for transportation in the Chicago area impacting nearly nine million people.
Pace provides public transit services to the residents of 284 municipalities in Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and McHenry counties, covering nearly 3,500 square miles and serving several tens of thousands of daily riders.
In 2018, Pace completed a compressed natural gas (CNG) station and facility build out to support their recent deployment of 91 CNG buses operating out of their South Division in Markham, Illinois. Of the 63 public transit agencies in Illinois, Pace is now one of only three to utilize CNG buses, timing the purchases to replace an aging fleet of diesel buses.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the financial and oversight body for the three transit agencies in northeastern Illinois — the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace — teamed up with the Illinois Department of Transportation and Pace to help arrange $49 million in capital funding to allow Pace to purchase the new CNG buses. The CNG buses are anticipated to save $1.5 million per year in fuel and maintenance costs versus their diesel predecessors. In 2019, Pace is adding at least six new CNG buses.
Pace was awarded at Chicago Area Clean Cities’ Annual Meeting at the Chicago Auto Show. The award has been given annually since 2001 to an individual, organization, or business that champions the promotion of alternative fuels and technologies to reduce vehicle emissions and reduce petroleum usage.
At the awards ceremony, CACC also named its Green Fleet Leadership Award winners. Those awarded include: ComEd, Chicago Park District, City of Chicago, Village of Downers Grove, Waste Management, Nicor Gas, Schwan’s, Chicago Transit Authority, and United Parcel Service. Each organization was recognized for its successful use of vehicles with alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies.
Jones Lang LaSalle/Aon and Prudential Towers received the coalition’s “All-In Award,” to recognize its 100% all-electric shuttle bus fleet, built by Proterra. The buses shuttle hundreds of commuters every workday from Chicago’s Metra train stations to the Aon Center and Prudential Plaza, then back again at the end of the day before parking underneath Wacker Drive to charge overnight.