Chicago’s ‘Bus on Shoulder’ success

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USA Chicago’s Pace Suburban Bus has awarded Motor Coach Industries (MCI) a contract for 13 MCI Commuter Coaches with an option for 37 more.

Pace is using the new coaches to replace older buses and those leased from MCI, on its “Bus on Shoulder” service, which launched in 2011 between Chicago and the southwest suburbs. Until now the service has operated with 14 MCI Commuter Coach vehicles which are permitted to use the shoulder on Interstate Highway 55 in congested traffic.

When traffic in regular lanes is flowing at less than 35mph the buses using the shoulder cannot travel at speeds greater than 35mph, or 15mph faster than the flow of regular traffic – whichever is less.

‘Shoulder riding’ has been cited as one of the most affordable options for implementing BRT on highways because it is less expensive to modify shoulders than it is to construct new roadways and requires little capital investment compared with rail.

“The Bus on shoulder program has helped combat Chicago’s jammed expressway system, and we are very pleased Pace has selected the MCI Commuter Coach,” said Patrick Scully, Executive Vice President of MCI. “We’re proud our Commuter Coach offers the best mean distance between failures among all types of bus models, reinforcing our ‘Reliability Driven’ promise to offer the highest quality coaches, parts and service.”