By Ed Madden, Coordinator of Public Outreach, Pace Suburban Bus
Pace Bus’ top priority remains the safety of our passengers and personnel. Pace is a vital service that provides crucial transportation access for the communities we serve, including transportation for many essential workers traveling to and from their places of employment. We take that responsibility very seriously and will continue do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We will continue to:
- Prioritize the safety of our passengers and Pace personnel
- Deep clean and sanitize vehicles daily
- Clean high touch surfaces throughout the day
- Provide bus operators with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Limit seating where possible to encourage social distancing
- Keep indoor spaces closed
- Limit the number of on-board passengers and add extra vehicles as we are able
Pace Bus asks all riders to please do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus):
- Wear a facemask on all Pace vehicles
- Wash your hands, cover your cough, don’t touch your face, and stay home if you are sick
- Give operators and other riders space; board and take your seat promptly
- Reconsider unnecessary travel
- Use your Ventra Card to pay fares quickly and limit crowding at the front of the bus
- Check if service is running regularly on your route
- Ride with a personal care attendant if you need physical assistance
- Please exit through the rear door whenever possible
To maintain safe rides, Pace has limited ADA Paratransit service to a single rider per vehicle during the pandemic. This was easier to accomplish during Illinois’ stay-at-home orders when ridership was lower; however, this is getting increasingly difficult as ADA Paratransit ridership is increasing.
As an alternative, Pace is offering the Chicago Taxi Access Program (TAP) for all trips beginning in the City Chicago – and currently waiving the normal $3 fare – for all TAP registered riders until further notice. This means that you can take an up to a $30 cab ride for free! For any higher priced taxi rides, participants only pay the amount above $30.
TAP is also a great way to travel at the last minute as ADA Paratransit requires reserving your trip at least one day in advance. You can take up to 8 one-way taxi rides per day and you can call or hail any taxi at your convenience. Additional passengers are allowed at the standard $1 passenger surcharge and $.50 for any extra riders; however, participants are responsible for the additional passenger(s) using cash or credit (not the TAP card).
All RTA-certified ADA Paratransit riders are eligible for this program but your trip must originate within the City of Chicago including O’Hare Airport. Also, please note that if you are traveling from Chicago to a suburb, taxi fares are 1 ½ times the meter rate.
Also, passengers can request a wheelchair-accessible (WAV) taxicab ride in Chicago by calling CURB at 1-888-WAV-CABS (1-888-928-2227). Please note that riders utilizing their TAP card must book through the CURB phone number above – and not the CURB app – because the CURB app does not allow for in-cab TAP payments.
You can call 1-833-PACE-TAP (833-722-3827) to enroll. For more information, visit PaceBus.com/TAP or call 800-606-1282 (option 4).
Unfortunately, TAP service is not available for travel originating from the suburbs due to the complexity and high number of taxi companies in each of our service area’s 284 individual suburban communities.
And remember – for everyone’s safety – please wear a face covering (if able) when using any form of public transportation!
Edward Madden is the Coordinator of Public Outreach for Pace Suburban Bus and one of JJ’s List’s Hop on the Bus to Independence presenters. Among his many communication responsibilities, Ed promotes the numerous transportation services that Pace offers in the 6-county Chicagoland region.