Pace riders get more shelter in Joliet
By bob okon email@example.com November 29, 2012 5:56PM
New Pace Bus shelter at Jefferson St. and Springfield Ave. in Joliet, Illinois, Thursday, November 29, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media
At A Glance
New shelter locations:
Jefferson Street and Joyce Road
Jefferson Street and Springfield Avenue
Route 6 and Parkwood Drive
Doris Avenue and Neal Avenue
Route 30 and
Woodruff Road and Arthur Avenue
Glenwood Avenue and Madison Street
Updated: January 1, 2013 6:32AM
JOLIET — Taking the bus is nicer when there’s a roof over your head at the Pace stop.
Ask Sandra Schwab, who waited for a bus Thursday morning at one of four new Pace shelters installed in Joliet this fall.
“You can get in and get out of the wind and the rain,” Schwab, of Joliet, said on what actually was a pleasant November morning. Even so, with winter coming, Pace expects its new shelters to be warmly received.
The suburban bus service is on its way to better accommodations in Joliet, including not only more shelter along its bus routes but an improved central hub when the city completes a new station downtown.
The bus station is part of the transportation center being built around Union Station. It will replace the current hub, which is simply the streetside parking area in front of the Will County Courthouse with a couple of shelters.
When surveyed, bus riders show they would like to see better “infrastructure,” Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot said. The bus shelters help meet that need.
“Especially this time of year, when it becomes cold and windy, people want shelter when waiting for the bus,” Wilmot said.
Pace also hopes to attract more riders with better accommodations.
Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski said shelters can influence people’s decision on whether to even try out the bus.
“What people see every day are the bus shelters,” Kwasneski said. “If those bus shelters don’t look very accommodating that sets a bad tone for taking the bus.”
Bus shelters are not new in town. Pace already had 14. But Wilmot said the new shelters are more stylish than the older ones and “less utilitarian” in appearance
But they have utilitarian value for Schwab, who uses a wheelchair and cannot get through the openings in the older shelters.
“They’re great,” Schwab said. “They make room for wheelchairs.”
The new shelters also have a utilitarian purpose for Pace and the city of Joliet. Revenues from advertising at the shelters is split between the advertising company and Pace. And Pace’s share of the advertising is split with Joliet.
Pace has 10 bus routes in Joliet.
A Pace garage on South Chicago Street services buses in Joliet and on two Interstate 55 routes that carry commuters from Plainfield and Bolingbrook to Chicago.
The bus agency recently contributed $1.7 million to the transportation center being built downtown, which overlaps the area where Pace has its garage. The money will pay for improved access at the garage.