Pace Suburban Bus launches first electric paratransit vehicle

Posted: 12 June 2024 | | No comments yet

Pace has introduced its first electric paratransit vehicle, advancing the agency’s Project Zero plan to achieve a zero-emissions fleet by 2040.

Pace Suburban Bus launches first electric paratransit vehicle

Credit: Pace Suburban Bus

In a significant step towards sustainable public transportation, Pace Suburban Bus has announced that it has introduced its first electric paratransit vehicle. This 15-passenger, accessible vehicle, received earlier in 2024 through Community Project Funding secured by Congressman Sean Casten, represents a crucial milestone in Pace’s Project Zero plan to transition to a zero-emissions fleet by 2040.

The $1 million in Community Project Funding will enable Pace to acquire five new battery-electric paratransit buses, replacing existing fossil-fuel-powered buses at the River Division in Elgin. The newly launched vehicle, a Coach and Equipment Phoenix bus, is expected to commence service in the western suburbs later in 2024 following comprehensive training and testing.

Expressing his support, Congressman Casten stated, “I was thrilled to secure the federal funding for the brand new all-electric Pace buses. These buses will lower fuel costs, make our environment healthier and cleaner, and work to combat climate change in Illinois.”

Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger said: “Pace’s legacy of progress and innovation has led us to this vehicle you see today – which is better for passengers, easier for our bus operators, and cleaner for the environment.”

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As part of its commitment to a zero-emissions future, Pace aims to operate a 100% zero-emissions fleet by 2040. This initiative is part of Pace’s broader strategy to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance the region’s environmental quality, acknowledging its role as a significant operator of vehicles across the area.

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Pace has reported that overall ridership is at approximately 78% of pre-pandemic levels, with ADA paratransit service ridership exceeding 2019 levels. 

This launch underscores Pace’s ongoing efforts to enhance public transportation while contributing to environmental sustainability, aligning with broader climate goals and community health improvements.