Circulator Bus Reports Uptick In Ridership
By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
Rosemont’s entertainment district is a popular destination as recent statistics show daily ridership of the free Pace bus Route 811 is up significantly over last year, some by as much as 16.3%.
To help continue the upward trend, the buses were recently dressed in a new “It’s All Here” wrap designed by the village. Schedules were also expanded.
When a town such as Rosemont averages 75,000 to 100,000 visitors daily, public transportation is usually one of its keys to success. The two-year-old partnership between Rosemont and the Pace suburban bus service to provide free service to and from several stops on a daily basis has been successful, Pace officials said.
Since 2013 when the service was launched, seven-day-a-week Rosemont Entertainment Circulator bus route ridership continues to go up.
The latest Pace three-month analysis comparing average daily ridership in March-May 2014 to daily ridership in March-May 2015 shows Rosemont entertainment district Saturday ridership increased 16.3% over 2014, averaging 1,290 passengers each day; Sunday ridership increased 8.1% over 2014, with 795 rides per day; and weekday ridership increased 4.9% over 2014, with 860 rides per day.
To accommodate the increase in ridership, Pace expanded the hours of service recently and is working with village officials about adding bus stops.
“In April 2015, we did improve the schedule for this route, expanding the hours of service on Sundays,” Doug Sullivan, Pace marketing department manager told the Journal & Topics Monday.
“As relates to future changes to the route, we are in discussions with the village of Rosemont about potential changes to the bus stop locations in and around MB Financial Park,” Sullivan said. “Those decisions have not been finalized yet. The routing and scheduling of this bus service has been a collaborative effort between Pace and the village and we will continue to use that process for any future changes.”
Sullivan said the company also recently installed new, colorful, bus wraps on the vehicles that operate service in Rosemont.
“The village of Rosemont designed that new wrap and Pace produced and installed them,” Sullivan said.
The free bus service provides rides to and from the CTA Blue Line station on River Road, the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, MB Financial Park, and just outside the mall and parking garage at Fashion Outlets Chicago.
Service operates every 10 to 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays; 8:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sundays. There is service on all holidays except Christmas Day.
The bus route also connects to the 221, 223, 230, 326, 332, 600, 606, 610, 810 and 895 Pace routes.
Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot has said the service is easy to use, “People can easily hop on and hop off. One doesn’t wait for long.”
Others have said the bus is a welcome relief after one’s been on their feet all day at a convention or concert.