South county commuters losing two bus routes
By RONNIE WACHTER email@example.com December 22, 2011 8:16PM
Updated: February 21, 2012 1:55AM
Commuters in Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Lincolnshire and Bannockburn will lose two of their options for getting to work, and a third is on life support, with a price tag.
The board of directors of the Pace suburban bus service have voted to eliminate a pair of routes that took riders from Metra stations in Deerfield and Highland Park to major employers in the area, and gave a third route a six-month extension with new fares to see if it can be self-sufficient.
Pace routes 622 and 630 will take riders to Takeda, Aon-Hewitt, Siemens and other workplaces for the last time Dec. 31.
Route 576 will continue to move employees from Deerfield to locations in Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire for another six months, but riders will have to pay new fares.
Pace is the only major public transportation agency in the Chicago area not issuing across-the-board rate increases in 2012. However, losing $12,000 in contributions from Aon-Hewitt when that company switched its employees to a private carrier, Pace officials saw cutting services as the only option.
Bill Baltutis, executive director of the Transportation Management Agency of Lake-Cook, a public-private partnership that had sought new sponsorships for the buses from other companies and villages, said some current riders will be switched to new lines.
Takeda’s employees will transfer in the new year from Route 630 to Route 629, he said, which has similar pickup and drop-off times.
Baltutis also noted that passengers on the surviving Route 576 will have two charges in 2012, Individuals with Pace’s Easy Rider pass will shell out an extra $1, while individuals without the pass will pay $1.75.
At least one of the local governments Baltutis has sought assistance from said they would not supply any. Lincolnshire’s Village Board discussed the looming Pace cuts during their Dec. 12 meeting, and only saw the situation as solvable with more private help.
“I don’t think government should be funding this,” Trustee Liz Brandt said.