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BusHunter

2021 Pace Budget

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Wow they released the 2021 budget on the Pace website on 10/1. Are they really going to cut all those routes? #757, #888, #877, #895, #241 and like 20 more at least, alot of metra feeders and shuttles. Why get new highway cng eldos if they have no service to run it on? Theres so much cut it makes me wonder if they need the 30 foot eldorko order? This has to be from corona and I dont know if the routes are coming back but it's definitely a draconian budget. 

I went back and counted 73 bus routes eliminated and 24 routes with service frequency cuts. 

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18 minutes ago, BusHunter said:

Wow they released the 2021 budget on the Pace website on 10/1. Are they really going to cut all those routes? #757, #888, #877, #895, #241 and like 20 more at least, alot of metra feeders and shuttles. Why get new highway cng eldos if they have no service to run it on? Theres so much cut it makes me wonder if they need the 30 foot eldorko order? This has to be from corona and I dont know if the routes are coming back but it's definitely a draconian budget. 

I went back and counted 73 bus routes eliminated and 24 routes with service frequency cuts. 

I can see 877 and 888.  Those routes were virtually empty BEFORE VOVID19.  Same with 757.  The 895 i don't know about.  If no one is riding Metra, no one is riding the feeders.

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Many of the service cuts caused by the pandemic are proposed to become permanent. This doesn’t mean they won’t be added back at a later date, but many projections say demand may not return for years.

The full budget becomes available October 21.

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7 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I can see 877 and 888.  Those routes were virtually empty BEFORE VOVID19.  Same with 757.  The 895 i don't know about.  If no one is riding Metra, no one is riding the feeders.

Yeah some of the 3rd parties running Pace equipment seems to have been scrubbed from the landscape. The first student out in westmont that did the #690's must have got its Pace contract pulled. That's why those buses are gone but where did they go? Pace is losing alot of routes like the #610 and #616 that run the highway. #608, #604 are getting scaled back or cut too. Some of the more mainstream service is getting scaled back like the #311 even Pulse milwaukee. Wow this is alot of service going bye bye.

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Honestly it's sad to see the 757 have to go for real. I got a roomate and he heads to work, sometimes he goes to Elk Grove Village. Prior to the pandemic, he used to take the 757 there and it was just a one-seat ride. Now, with the changes for the pandemic, he has to take the 90 all the way from the Green Line to the Blue Line, then take a Blue Line Train to Rosemont, and then take the 223 to his place. The 757 elimination means he has to leave the house earlier too. In my opinion route 327 was honestly useless, you could've taken a 305 to Roosevelt and DesPlaines and then take a short walk to the Industrial Drive area. Also only one bus running per rush hour shift was kind of unnecessary too.

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Most of the routes on the list are feeders to Metra stations or office complexes. With so many people working from home, Metra predicts ridership won't return to normal for three years, if at all. The same would be true for the feeders being cut. With all the excess capacity these cuts will create, Pace could have a golden opportunity to seek new markets and grow ridership.

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On 10/4/2020 at 3:03 PM, BusHunter said:

Wow they released the 2021 budget on the Pace website on 10/1. Are they really going to cut all those routes? #757, #888, #877, #895, #241 and like 20 more at least, alot of metra feeders and shuttles. Why get new highway cng eldos if they have no service to run it on? Theres so much cut it makes me wonder if they need the 30 foot eldorko order? This has to be from corona and I dont know if the routes are coming back but it's definitely a draconian budget. 

I went back and counted 73 bus routes eliminated and 24 routes with service frequency cuts. 

That 30 foot order is probably dead.  Even the early 2600s in Aurora can be easily replaced with Naperville or Westmont feeders, or even some 30 footers from SW.  Pace is probably done buying buses right now, the Eldos are the oldest in the fleet now, the next oldest are the 6323s.  

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26 minutes ago, rotjohns said:

That 30 foot order is probably dead.  Even the early 2600s in Aurora can be easily replaced with Naperville or Westmont feeders, or even some 30 footers from SW.  Pace is probably done buying buses right now, the Eldos are the oldest in the fleet now, the next oldest are the 6323s.  

Yeah but the buses are already bought. What do you tell eldorado sorry guys but you have a bunch of buses we don't need, sorry. Maybe another city could buy the contract. I hate to see what the CTA budget is. Back when they were hiring I applied for a PTO. They are still hiring, but so is Pace. Pace doesn't have many driving jobs though it's mostly mechanics, office jobs. I haven't heard back but it takes forever to get your foot in the door.

Back on subject, we may be seeing the new fallout. Budgets across the board are cut, so who needs buses or has the money for it. By me there are no bus purchases planned, if anything they are probably looking to sell some buses.

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1 hour ago, rotjohns said:

That 30 foot order is probably dead.  Even the early 2600s in Aurora can be easily replaced with Naperville or Westmont feeders, or even some 30 footers from SW.  Pace is probably done buying buses right now, the Eldos are the oldest in the fleet now, the next oldest are the 6323s.  

Those buses have to be replaced, and since they were already approved, all the more reason to use them elsewhere (the satellites and other low-ridership routes).

This does provide an opportunity to try new markets or concepts - many of the routes as mentioned were mostly commuter routes or legacy ones.

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On 10/5/2020 at 2:06 PM, MetroShadow said:

Some of these are concerning. Especially the 384 and 386. I'll still maintain that a route as long as the 386 does not do well with hourly frequencies on the weekdays at least. The 311 and 302 aren't surprising, but the Pulse Milwaukee is.

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I think the service reductions are likely to be exactly the same as the ones going on right now because of Covid. 

If this is true I feel that this might be more of a "look how bad things will get" if another stimulus doesn't happen. 

Will be interesting to see what CTA and Metra put together soon. 

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1 hour ago, Tcmetro said:

I think the service reductions are likely to be exactly the same as the ones going on right now because of Covid. 

If this is true I feel that this might be more of a "look how bad things will get" if another stimulus doesn't happen. 

Will be interesting to see what CTA and Metra put together soon. 

You think Pace is bad, look at what Baltimore is proposing. Like some 70% service reduction between cuts, reroutes and service reductions

EDIT: As I was looking for a link, it's apparently been scrapped, wonderful news. More info here

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The 30-footers were already ordered, so Pace had no choice but to accept delivery of them. It's where they will be assigned to that's in question.

And many, if not most, of the routes to be eliminated are operated by third-party contractors - and most of the contractor-operated routes are under the axe. The few that are currently contracted out that will survive the proposed cuts, such as the 715, will probably be reassigned to operate out of a normal Pace garage (meaning that a Pace division will assume direct operation of those routes). However, that does not eliminate the possibility that these same routes might be contracted out to a third party again.

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17 hours ago, RJL6000 said:

The 30-footers were already ordered, so Pace had no choice but to accept delivery of them. It's where they will be assigned to that's in question.

And many, if not most, of the routes to be eliminated are operated by third-party contractors - and most of the contractor-operated routes are under the axe. The few that are currently contracted out that will survive the proposed cuts, such as the 715, will probably be reassigned to operate out of a normal Pace garage (meaning that a Pace division will assume direct operation of those routes). However, that does not eliminate the possibility that these same routes might be contracted out to a third party again.

What were the 30-fts replacing? Or were they a fleet expansion? Wouldn't SW or River be the most likely choices?

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1 hour ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

What were the 30-fts replacing? Or were they a fleet expansion? Wouldn't SW or River be the most likely choices?

The 2600's came around in 2006. With 14-15 years of service, they've lasted well beyond their (FTA) useful life. Link

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On 10/5/2020 at 11:06 AM, MetroShadow said:

Realistically, public transit in 2021 will resemble public transit in 1971. If it wasn't around then, it probably won't be around now. Not just here, nationwide. Municipal operations probably will do better than transit authorities unless they have taxing authority. Metra feeders you can forget about. Most parking lots will never fill up again. 

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All of the bus routes listed as "proposed service discontinuance" were "temporarily suspended" in April or May 2020.They've all been suspended for so long that there must be public notice of discontinuation.

It's permanent.

it wasn't just some feeders, shuttles, and circulators. It's every single feeder, shuttle, and circulator. Every single one.

Not that Pace was operating many Metra feeders due to lack of fare integration, but with nearly no office workers in the central business district and very few rush hour trains to meet and no park-n-ride demand, there was no market. The employee shuttles were discontinued because the employment locations were closed or permanently out of business and the ones that re-opened weren't having workers report to work 5 days a week. The circulators were discontinued because there was no in-person shopping, even if the retail stores were open.

So many employers have discovered that virtual meetings can replace in-person meetings and so few workers need to work from the office, I predict that the demand leased office space will be reduced permanently.

The fixed-route feeder/shuttle model may be dead. I'd like to see a paratransit solution for last mile from Pace express bus routes and rail stations. I think a model based on Uber and Lyft-style dispatching with drivers taking transit vehicles home and surge payments for drivers so they make themselves available to drive is the future. The Pace model may be vans and lift-equipped vans, depending on the passenger's needs.

Exactly one circulator was restarted: 811 Rosemont Entertainment Circulator on July 20, 2020.

The routes listed as "proposed service reduction" were similarly cut back last April or May. As far as I know, not a single run has been restored. This, too, is permanent.

Pace finally released the budget at Wednesday's board meeting, Typically it's released in September, and has been even in years that RTA is very late with the budget marks as they were this year. https://www.pacebus.com/sites/default/files/2020-10/2021 Proposed Budget.pdf

I'm one of just a handful of members of the public who attends Pace budget hearings, but if anyone cares, they're all virtual. Pace will be streaming them on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwqCeR3VG2M

That's not interactive.

To participate in the Zoom meeting because you want to give oral testimony, you must pre-register for the hearing to receive the Zoom meeting code or call-in number. Pick a hearing. https://www.pacebus.com/news/virtual-public-hearings-proposed-2021-budget

This is just an awful year and 2021 will not be better.

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On 10/20/2020 at 11:26 PM, andrethebusman said:

Realistically, public transit in 2021 will resemble public transit in 1971. If it wasn't around then, it probably won't be around now. Not just here, nationwide. Municipal operations probably will do better than transit authorities unless they have taxing authority. Metra feeders you can forget about. Most parking lots will never fill up again. 

Gawd I am feeling even more pessimistic than Andris.

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With all this chaos with the Pace budget, I checked the Metra budget. No cuts and no fare hikes for 2021. They will be needed 70 million depending on the feds and ridership has to be 50 percent by the end of 2021. They claim ridership is 20 percent now. They want to start a 7 dollar weekend day pass versus the two day pass they currently have had. They need ridership and the pass they hope will achieve that. So alot is riding on 2021, to straighten things out. 

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1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

With all this chaos with the Pace budget, I checked the Metra budget. No cuts and no fare hikes for 2021. They will be needed 70 million depending on the feds and ridership has to be 50 percent by the end of 2021. They claim ridership is 20 percent now. They want to start a 7 dollar weekend day pass versus the two day pass they currently have had. They need ridership and the pass they hope will achieve that. So alot is riding on 2021, to straighten things out. 

Metra lost millions on the three UP Lines all Spring & Summer, due to the UP refusing to collect fares.   Even now, fare collection is being done only Downtown, so anyone who rides between all the other stations still rides for free. 

There will have to be a supplemental budget with a fare increase in 2021, along with some more service reductions.  I wonder if Metra will ever go back to the regular schedules?

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1 hour ago, strictures said:

Metra lost millions on the three UP Lines all Spring & Summer, due to the UP refusing to collect fares.   Even now, fare collection is being done only Downtown, so anyone who rides between all the other stations still rides for free. 

There will have to be a supplemental budget with a fare increase in 2021, along with some more service reductions.  I wonder if Metra will ever go back to the regular schedules?

Hard to say. From what I'm hearing alot of office jobs want to stay working remotely. They have a good deal not paying for office space and using your computer equipment and electricity, they dont incur any expenses. It's like Uber, they make the money off you using your own vehicle and they sit back in there office collecting the 20 percent they take from us. It's our necks on the line, it's our gas. But I think it's worth it. You just have to know when, where and with what vehicle to work. 

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At the last Metra board meeting they said that they were going to look into rewriting the schedules to provide a more regular service throughout the day. We'll see in due time if anything actually happens. 

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On 10/22/2020 at 10:58 AM, BusHunter said:

With all this chaos with the Pace budget, I checked the Metra budget. No cuts and no fare hikes for 2021. . . .

I'm not sure what you mean. Like Pace, Metra made massive service cuts throughout 2020. Like Pace, Metra isn't making further service cuts. The only difference is that Metra didn't give public notice like Pace as they don't follow sunshine in government requirements as closely as Pace. Either way, the massive service cutbacks were made without public notice and public hearing and any comments a passenger might make during budget hearings is seven months after the fact.

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Public transit will have a lot smaller part to play in cities for years to come I'm afraid. This has caused permanent changes in how the world works and shops, and a permanent reduction the need for mobility is probably a long term result. There will always be a need for some transit, as there will always be a "captive audience", but the glory days are likely over. But look at it like this. If most short distance travel will be by car, a battery car with a 200 mile range will suffice very nicely!

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