Employees at the Esplanade office complex will have a new Downers Grove commute option that began April 6, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Metra, Pace, the Regional Transportation Authority, Transportation Management Association (TMA) of Lake Cook and other partners. On April 6, 2015 Pace began operations on Route 465 Belmont Station – Esplanade, offering four morning and three evening trips between the Esplanade and the Belmont Station on Metra’s BNSF Line.
Route 465 represents an expansion of the Shuttle Bug program, a public-private partnership between Pace, Metra and the TMA of Lake Cook resulting in the operation of several similar Pace routes in northern Cook and southern Lake counties. The three partners are working together for the development of Route 465 and are joined by the RTA, which is providing grant funding and planning assistance. The remainder of the funding for the route’s operations will come from Hamilton Partners, the company that manages the Esplanade.
Metra is adjusting the timetables of two BNSF Line trains starting on April 6 so they will stop at the Belmont Station and coordinate with the new Pace bus route. Outbound train No. 1371 will serve Belmont at 7:48 AM and inbound train No. 1276 will serve Belmont at 4:46 PM.
“We are excited to work with all our public and private partners to offer this new commuting option, particularly for our reverse-commute customers – a market we are trying to expand,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno.
“Any time that we can work with our partners to implement new bus service, it’s a great thing for the region because we’re helping commuters to save money versus driving, reducing traffic congestion and air pollution and having a positive impact on the local economy,” said Pace Chairman of the Board Richard Kwasneski. “Each partner brings unique perspectives and experiences to contribute to the overall success of the service.”
The base adult fare is $1.75, payable with cash (exact fare required), a contactless credit or debit card, or Ventra Cards. The TMA and Hamilton Partners work with companies at the Esplanade to provide employer-sponsored Ventra Cards to employees. Information about Pace and Metra service is being distributed to employees by Hamilton Partners through the companies located there.
“With the regional economy starting to grow, suburban employers are seeking young skilled professionals- many of whom live in Chicago,” said Bill Baltutis, Executive Director of the TMA of Lake Cook. “The Shuttle Bug Pace-Metra connection brings in private sector support and addresses the reverse commute needs of employees living in or near the city and who work in the suburbs.”
“Hamilton Partners is delighted to partner with the TMA to provide Esplanade employees with direct shuttle service to the nearby Belmont Metra station in Downers Grove. Ownership is confident that Pace Route 465 will be an invaluable asset to employers looking to retain or recruit employees who live in Chicago and the suburbs. We are looking forward to a successful launch of this exciting program,” said Phil Sheridan, Leasing Partner at Hamilton Partners.