Pace Board Releases Proposed 2011 Budget

Oct 13, 2010, 19:42 ET from Pace Suburban Bus Service

No fare increases or service cuts called for as public input process begins

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite the slow pace of the economy's recovery from recession, the Pace Board of Directors has released a very stable and austere budget with virtually no impacts on riders in the form of fare increases or service cuts.

"The economic recession has posed several problems for our agency, most notably in the form of reduced sales tax funding and ridership," said Pace Chairman of the Board Richard Kwasneski. "We've cut costs internally over the past few years to remain as efficient as possible while continuing to offer a high level of service to our customers, and that allows us to release a balanced budget that calls for no sacrifice on the part of riders."

The proposed Suburban Services operating budget, made up of fixed route bus, vanpool, and dial-a-ride service totals $183.3 million and is balanced thanks to proactive steps taken during 2010. These cost controls offset growth in revenue over the past three years that has been essentially flat at just 1.1%. Although Pace is prepared to use up to $2 million of capital funding to eliminate any operating expense deficit, that may not be necessary if sales tax collections- the primary source of operating funds- outpace current estimates. The Suburban Service Capital Program totals 80.3 million, nearly 88% of which is focused on replacing older buses in the current fleet including up to 60 hybrid buses to be purchased with state capital funds.

The proposed Regional ADA Paratransit operating budget adds up to $120.7 million, with just over 78% of expenses stemming from service provided in Chicago, and close to 20% for suburban service. Ridership is again projected to grow as service changes in recent years have expanded capacity, though per-trip costs continue to trend downward thanks to efficiencies that have also been implemented. On the capital side, $4.7 million will be used to purchase new paratransit vehicles using capital funds that the State released earlier this year. The purchase of these vehicles marks the first dedicated State investment in the ADA Paratransit capital program.

The proposed budget has officially been approved for release to the public by the Pace Board of Directors. Public Hearings will take place during the last two weeks of October. For those unable to attend, the budget document is posted on Pace's website, www.pacebus.com, and will be distributed to libraries and municipal buildings throughout Pace's service area for display. Comments can be submitted at hearings via the Pace website or via mail to Pace External Relations, 550 W. Algonquin Road Arlington Heights, IL 60005. The Board will review public comments received prior to approving the budget and submitting it in November to the RTA. In December, the RTA Board approves its final budget inclusive of the respective budgets from Pace, Metra, and CTA.

Pace Suburban Bus

Proposed 2011 Budget

Public Hearing Schedule

Monday, October 18, 2010

Will County Budget Public Hearing

4:30pm - 6:30pm

Bicentennial Park Theater

201 W. Jefferson St. at Bluff St.

Joliet, IL 60435

Monday, October 18, 2010

Noon - 2:00pm

City of Chicago (West) Budget Public Hearing

Garfield Park Conservatory - Community Room

300 N. Central Park Ave.

Chicago, IL 60624

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4:30pm - 6:30pm

North Cook County Budget Public Hearing

Pace Headquarters - Board Room

550 W. Algonquin Rd.

Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4:30pm - 6:30pm

South Cook County Budget Public Hearing

Homewood Village Hall

2020 Chestnut Road

Homewood, IL 60430

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

4:30pm - 6:30pm

Southwest Cook County Budget Public Hearing

Oak Lawn Village Hall

9446 S. Raymond Ave.

Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Lake County Budget Public Hearing

Lake County Building

18 N. County Street - 10th Floor, Conference Room C

Waukegan, IL 60085

Thursday, October 21, 2010

4:30pm - 6:30pm

West Cook County Budget Public Hearing

Oak Park Village Hall

123 Madison Street

Oak Park, IL 60302

Thursday, October 21, 2010

4:30pm - 6:30pm

Kane County Budget Public Hearing

Kane County Government Center - Auditorium, Ground Floor

719 S. Batavia Ave.

Geneva, IL 60134

Monday, October 25, 2010

3:00pm - 5:00pm

City of Chicago (Southwest) Budget Public Hearing

Arturo Velasquez Institute

2800 S. Western Ave.

Chicago, IL 60608

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

5:00pm - 7:00pm

City of Chicago (North) Budget Public Hearing

Northside College Preparatory High School - Cafeteria

5501 N. Kedzie Ave.

Chicago, IL 60625

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

4:30pm - 6:00pm

McHenry County Budget Public Hearing

Crystal Lake Municipal Complex - Council Chambers

100 W. Municipal Complex

Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DuPage County Budget Public Hearing

4:30pm - 6:30pm

DuPage County Government Center - Cafeteria

421 N. County Farm Rd.

Wheaton, IL 60187

Thursday, October 28, 2010

7:00pm - 9:00pm

City of Chicago (South) Budget Public Hearing

Olive Harvey College - Cafeteria

10001 S. Woodlawn

Chicago, IL 60628

SOURCE Pace Suburban Bus Service



RELATED LINKS

http://www.pacebus.com