What Is Pace Suburban Bus?

The return of live events, office life, and the upcoming holiday season are certainly reasons to celebrate. The only downside is having to commute, travel to events, and deal with parking once you get there. For residents in need of options, Pace Suburban Bus is a suburban commuter and paratransit service that fills in the gaps in Chicago’s suburbs.

When it comes to transportation, it’s good to know what’s available, especially if driving isn’t a possibility. And everyone’s needs are different. As part of the state’s Regional Transportation Authority, Pace provides fixed-route bus services, along with contracted community dial-a-ride, ADA paratransit services, and sponsored vanpool services.

Benefits include:

  • Fixed route and on-demand services
  • Bike racks and wheelchair accessibility
  • Paratransit service for people with disabilities in Chicago
  • ADA paratransit and “Dial-a-Ride” services throughout the suburban area
  • Special event transportation services
  • A fast and convenient option for commuters

Individualized Rides that Fill in the Gap

Pace covers more than 3,500 square miles throughout Northeastern Illinois. This includes Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. That translates to tens of thousands of daily riders.

The purpose of a regional paratransit service is to supplement public transportation options

for people who need to get to work, school and other regional destinations. Eligible communities can lease Pace vehicles for local circulator service, dial-a-ride, and group trips and outings.

Pace Offers Variety of Services

Originally, Pace Suburban Bus was intended to provide an equivalent to Chicago’s bus service outside of the city. Passengers can pay (fares vary) for a broad diversity of services using mobile wallets by Samsung, Google, Fitbit, Apple Pay apps or personal contactless bankcards. The four basic services are:

Dial-a-Ride – There are dozens of individualized Dial-a-Ride programs throughout the suburbs. Go online and select your county for a list of services.

Paratransit Services – Unlike services in which buses travel the same route in a regular pattern and pick up anyone who is waiting, these vehicles make pre-arranged trips. There are several different types of paratransit service, and riders must be eligible.

Vanpool – Pace claims co-workers and neighbors who give up driving to work save an average of $920 per month. Like a carpool service, Pace Vanpool connects people who live near one another and have similar travel patterns. It’s available in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties.

On Demand – You’ll need a reservation for this one. It’s a shared-ride service in various service areas throughout the suburban region. Pace recommends booking online, but you can also call to reserve your trip anywhere between one hour and seven 7 days in advance. Just like a regular bus, pay with Ventra or cash when you board.

An Option for People with Disabilities

Do you know a disabled person struggling with transportation needs? Pace fulfills the operational responsibility for Chicago’s ADA paratransit service. Pace is an option for people with disabilities who aren’t able to use other bus or rail services. There is typically door-to-door service for residents who call to reserve a ride, as well as a Taxi Access program providing short trips for people with disabilities.

A few things to know about Pace’s ADA Paratransit service:

  • You must be prescreened and certified to use the service.
  • It’s not intended for medical transport.
  • Travel times may still be based on fixed-route schedules.
  • Drivers can help, but some riders bring a companion for additional assistance.
  • Rides are reserved through areservation call center.

Chicago Area Special Events Transportation

The Chicagoland area is full of great entertainment, but transportation can be a hassle. If you’re looking for an alternative to driving, Pace buses provide service from the suburbs to many special events in and around Chicago. Be sure to check the routes and schedules before boarding!

  • Ravinia
  • Chicago Cubsgames
  • Chicago White Soxgames
  • Chicago Bears games
  • Allstate Arena inRosemont for scheduled events
  • Six Flags Great America
  • SeatGeek Stadium inBridgeview

Get Ventra and Other Transportation Needs Served at CCEA

Get ready for your next ride. Ventra is the fare payment system for Pace, as well as the CTA and Metra in the Chicagoland area. To prepare for all your needs in the coming months, load up your Ventra card next time you’re at one of the many Community Currency Exchanges (CCEA) throughout Illinois. Using your Ventra app, you can tap and board Pace just like you would a CTA bus or train.

While you’re here, take care of your other transportation needs, from your car title and registration to renewing your plates and picking up your city stickers. Stop by your nearest CCEA location to take advantage of our diverse services today!


With over 350 locations, many open nights, weekends, and holidays (and several stores with 24/7 availability), you can rest easy knowing your financial needs can be taken care of when you need them most. We’re in the heart of every community. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.