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PACE's Contract Operaters.


jesi2282
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Can Someone tell me what a contract operater is, I went to the pace website and I saw route 781 is operated by Laidlaw and 855 by Colonial Coach lines, plus a lot more other routes operated by other operaters, are the buses which run on these routes school buses or motor coachs?

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A contractor operator is as indicated; Pace doesn't operate the bus itself, but pays a private coach or school bus operator to run it. Most routes with numbers 600 and above were originally contract operations, but Pace took some of them (610, 626, 877, 888) back. Does anyone know what criteria Pace uses to determine if a route is contract or operated by Pace?

Bids for contract bus service are solicited on the Pace website; see http://www.pacebus.com/sub/purchasing/bid_open.asp and http://www.pacebus.com/sub/purchasing/bid_results.asp ; the latter indicates that a contract for subscription route 1012 was recently awarded to Colonial Coach.

Equipmentwise, there are several variations:

Some routes, such as 326, 600, 606, 696, 699 run with regular Pace equipment, sometimes after having been shifted from Pace divisions (i.e. the 2292 type buses went from South to Southwest to the private operator out of the Rosemont CTA station).

Operators in many towns in DuPage use a combination of Pace 30 foot and 35 foot buses (such as in Lisle).

Naperville is primarily run with schoolbuses, which, by contract, must have lifts.

I previously said: Long distance routes use motor coaches (610, 855, both now run by Colonial).

Some routes are operated by paratransit operators with paratransit equipment (602, McHenry County).

Also, technically speaking, Highland Park and Niles are contract operators.

Times change. As indicated by the posting on Pace site that the route 1012 contract was issued, but no mention of 610, I checked this out. It is now being run by Pace Northwest, with the equipment usually assigned to that garage.

Wouldn't want to leave inaccurate information on the Internet.

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Looking over the Pace site on the Fox Valley-Southwest DuPage initiative, two of the things the consultants are considering are replacing the Naperville school buses with small transits and a "separate brand" for the feeder service (the Metralink idea?). See http://www.pacebus.com/pdf/Feeder_info.pdf . Of course, the North Shore consultants were going to place a BRT on the old NSL Skokie Valley Line route, but nothing came of that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Generally, cost will determine if a route gets "farmed" out. Routes that do not normally generate a lot of revenue will be contracted out. Routes that operate farther away from Pace garages will be contracted out. Routes that will potentially operate longer distances that a contractor will offer to run cheaper than if Pace were to run it themselves, they will contract out.

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With regard to route 610, are you basically saying that there is a projected top bid, and since the motor coach companies couldn't beat what Pace said its cost was to run the route, Pace Northwest now has it?

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In a manner of speaking, yes. For example, there are drivers at Northwest who, for a long time, wanted to run the 606. For them it is beneficial, because it would probably be a good paying day. Keeshin does not pay their drivers what Pace Northwest does, so Keeshin could afford to bid low. Even if the salaries were the same, Pace comes out ahead, because they wouldn't have to pay benefits, such as insurance. They have been playing games with the capital money they get from the feds to pay the contractors. At one time capital money was used for just that, capital (busses, shelters, etc.). For the time being, they convinced someone they could use that money for service, which at one time was a big no no. I think it will catch up to them someday.

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With regard to the capital cost of contracting, you are right that this came out of a lawsuit. A couple of years ago, when RTA was insisting on the 40% recovery ratio, Pace wanted to use Capital Cost of Contracting, which was basically to use capital funds to pay for the use of the contractors' equipment. RTA said no, so Pace sued. Both the Tribune and the Pioneer Press misrepresented that Pace was suing for $158 million, when in fact it was suing for approval of its $158 million budget, which contained $7 million Capital Cost of Contracting. In the meantime (and unreported by both of those media outlets) the court ruled that Pace could sue the RTA so long as the other service boards were made parties, and CTA said it wanted to use Capital Cost of Contracting to pay for paratransit, so RTA allowed it.

Similarly, Pace was the first to ask permission to use capital funds for maintenance, but RTA said no. However, in this year's funding crunch, RTA suggested that CTA also do this, but CTA refused.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The contract for 696 and 699 has been a real problem for a long time. It was Colonial, Keeshin, I think even Mid America. For some reason, the contract carriers cannot keep those buses on any type of schedule and so many of their operators (assigned) were real arrogant jerks. I fielded many complaints when Keeshin switched over to Colonial back in 1999. It got so bad with Colonial that there was talk of Northwest taking it over. I find it interesting that CCSB is doing the route now. I can't really explain why there is so much trouble with those 2 routes in terms of service.

I have seen 2323, 2070 and over the past few days 2040 (which was an old Elgin Orion before the NABI's came on the scene). 2040 has seen much better days, as has 2323. Both look real beat up and 2323 puffs out black smoke as if to tell us the Vatican has not elected a Pope yet.

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2323 puffs out black smoke as if to tell us the Vatican has not elected a Pope yet.
A lot of buses in the North Shore division are bad that way (especially the ElDorados). Also, a lot of Orion VIs out of Northwest have soot deposits near the number under the exhaust.

Part of the deal with Keeshin routes is that Keeshin was forced out of its rented quarters as a result of O'Hare expansion.

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  • 7 years later...

Hello Busfans,

CTA5750 has taken somewhat of a break, but I am happy to say "Im back!". Ive been off this site for a while. Since I left Academy in 2011 I've taken a break from buses, not entirely but it was a needed one. In that time I made attempts to apply at other Pace facilities with little success. I recently saw an opening for a bus operator position for the City of Highland Park, so I decided to give it a try and apply. They were very gracious and accepting with my fire dept. schedule and my prior bus experience. I wanted to let all my fellow bus fans be the first to know. I will be driving the 2600 series El Dorado EZ Rider bus and its Orion Hybrid bus #2830. I am very excited about this new chapter in my life. Im happy to be coming back and enjoying "my hobby" :)

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...I will be driving the 2600 series El Dorado EZ Rider bus and its Orion Hybrid bus #2830. ...

Welcome back.

You might be in a position to determine whether 2830 saves any money and why there were so many ghost buses in HP (not on Bus Tracker).

And, if you last until June, you may be able to drive a 1999 NABI for Ravinia.

Also, you probably will be serving the commuters from Braeside to Deerfield (628 and 629).

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Hello Busfans,

CTA5750 has taken somewhat of a break, but I am happy to say "Im back!". Ive been off this site for a while. Since I left Academy in 2011 I've taken a break from buses, not entirely but it was a needed one. In that time I made attempts to apply at other Pace facilities with little success. I recently saw an opening for a bus operator position for the City of Highland Park, so I decided to give it a try and apply. They were very gracious and accepting with my fire dept. schedule and my prior bus experience. I wanted to let all my fellow bus fans be the first to know. I will be driving the 2600 series El Dorado EZ Rider bus and its Orion Hybrid bus #2830. I am very excited about this new chapter in my life. Since 2011 when I left Academy Ive tried applying for operator positions at other Pace facilities with little success. So finally I decided to give Highland Park a try and they were very gracious and accepting of my fire dept schedule. I look forward to a good working relationship and serving the citizens of Highland Park. Im happy to be coming back and enjoying "my hobby" :)

Glad you're doing what you want. I think driving the smaller Eldorados will be fun...hopefully learning HP will

be easy to do. Welcome back to the forum...although we kept up on other media !

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