Pace and Joliet welcome U.S. Transportation Sec. Buttigieg, Gov. Pritzker, Congressman Foster at new multimodal transportation center

Officials from Pace Suburban Bus (Pace) hosted a variety of stakeholders at its new transportation facility at the Joliet Gateway Center in Joliet, Ill.  

Stakeholders present include U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL-11). The visit showcased the results of this collaborative project funded in large part by Rebuild Illinois. Pace buses serving this facility were made possible through federal infrastructure funds.  

The modern, pedestrian-friendly facility represents an investment in a community with a historically underserved population, in line with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice 40 initiative and Pace’s shared values of equity and accessibility for all. 

The $9.7 million transit center offers convenient boarding and transfer locations, easy-to-access transit information, waiting areas to protect passengers from the elements, and a safe and efficient loop for buses to serve passengers and quickly get back on their route. The facility, a collaborative project with the city of Joliet, was built to centralize boarding locations and make connections to Metra and Amtrak services safer and easier. 

Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski opened the event and noted that without federal and state infrastructure investments, this project would not be possible. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Rebuild Illinois “not only provided major funding for our operations, but also started us on the path for zero emissions. Twenty buses are on order that will arrive next year, and we have one that will arrive next week that we will be able to test and utilize.”  

The accolades continued with Denise Winfrey from the National Association of Counties (NAoC).  

“It is really exciting to be here, to be able to see the changes and the upgrades in the area, and to experience it firsthand. We are lucky to be able to have the opportunity to build back better, and we’re grateful for that but we are especially grateful here in Will County because we are in the middle of everything.” 

Rep. Foster spoke next, noting that the new transportation center was the “perfect example of historic infrastructure investments that are finally being made at all levels of government.”  

“You know mobility is so important especially out here in the far suburbs, making it easier and more efficient for people to get to work, school, doctors’ appointments, shopping centers and restaurants,” said Rep. Foster. “It won’t just benefit the passengers, but it will have a positive economic impact to the community as well.” 

Gov. Pritzker came to the podium next.  

“This hub will serve as an access point for an intracity transit, Amtrak, Metra service and the Pace service that we celebrate today,” Gov. Pritzker said. “Investments like these do more than just connect cities. They allow our residents to access opportunities beyond their immediate neighborhoods to streamline regional collaboration and to open doors for new jobs and new businesses.” 

Finally, Sec. Buttigieg spoke, acknowledging the Pace team and their work.  

“I want to acknowledge the entire Pace team and Pace Chair Kwasneski, you and your team have done phenomenal work helping to get people to where they need to be,” Sec. Buttigieg said. “Transportation is one of the things that can enable the economic growth that we need to see going forward. And, of course, even for those who do use a car to get to where they’re going, investments in transit are a good thing because that means less congestion on the road for everybody else. And that also means less pollution, less particulate matter, fewer health problems associated with that, and a jump start on our ability to confront climate change.” 

Other guests in attendance included Illinois Secretary of Transportation Omer Osman, Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and Pace Board Members Chris Canning, Roger C. Claar and Jeffery Schielke. 

Previous post New tourist information centre in Weymouth town centre
Next post JR East offering ‘shinkansen for pets,’ including dog-friendly vacation packages