“I am pleased to report that Pace has officially entered into the era of electrification,” said Executive Director Melinda Metzger. “With the progress we are making on our [fleet and] facilities transition plan, the arrival of this bus could not have come at a better time.”
Metzger went on to explain the bus will allow staff to gain operational and maintenance experience and will also allow the agency to conduct bus familiarization training with fire departments. As the agency moves toward a more sustainable transportation system and its goal of a zero-emission fleet by 2040, Metzger also shared that the installation of electric charging stations at Pace facilities and park-n-rides had begun with Pace’s headquarters receiving the first station this week.
Two new alternative service options were also announced at the meeting. VanGo is a new vanpool initiative aimed at increasing first/last-mile options for commuters. Scheduled to launch in June in Lake County, VanGo is a first-of-its-kind vanshare program that will allow commuters to reserve Pace-owned vans parked at Metra stations via remote access. Qualified participants will be able to use the vehicle to travel to worksites in the defined geographic zone. This new option will address the need for first/last mile connections where the market doesn’t warrant traditional bus service due to new and variable work schedules.
If successful, the VanGo may be expanded to other areas in the coming year.