Pace’s new Plainfield garage will enable expansion of I-55 Bus on Shoulder service

Rendering of the new bus garage.
Rendering of the new bus garage.

On Thursday work kicked off to build a roughly 230,000 square foot Pace bus maintenance and storage garage in southwest-suburban Plainfield, a medium-sided town located between Aurora and Joliet. The 12 acre site is located on Lot 2 of the Plainfield Small Business Park, just south of the Pace Park N’ Ride Facility on the east side of what will be Depot Drive.

The garage will be located just south of the Plainfield Small Business Park. Image: Google Maps
The garage will be located on Lot 2 of the Plainfield Small Business Park. Image: Google Maps

Officials from Pace and the village of Plainfield, along with reps from contractor Northern Builders, Inc. broke ground on the project yesterday. In April of 2020 the Pace board and the village approved inter-governmental agreements for the construction of the new facility.

Projected to cost $52 million, the garage’s construction will be funded by Pace using cash from the state’s Rebuild Illinois infrastructure bill, which was passed in 2019. As part of a public-private partnership, Northern Builders has been in charge of designing and building the facility.

This garage will allow for the expansion of popular Bus on Shoulder express service by making room for more vehicles needed to to take commuters from various south-suburban park-n-ride lots to downtown Chicago using the shoulder on I-55 to get around private vehicle traffic. Ridership on the service has grown by more than 600 percent since the program was launched in 2011.

Pace and Plainfield officials, and Northern Builders reps, broke ground on the project Thursday. Photo: Pace
Pace and Plainfield officials, and Northern Builders reps, broke ground on the project Thursday. Photo: Pace

“As we navigate through these difficult times, it’s important to remember that public transportation will be a key piece of our region’s recovery,” said Pace chair Rick Kwasneski. “By keeping these important infrastructure projects moving forward we ensure that we will be ready for that recovery.”

“This facility will support the service that connects the people of Plainfield and neighboring communities to employment, education and medical care,” said Plainfield Mayor Michael P. Collins. “We are pleased to again partner with Pace to make sure our residents have the access to transportation they need and the opportunities that come with it.”

Learn more about the project in the Developments section at


Successful Pilot Means New “Bus on Shoulders” Routes For Pace

For the past three years, Pace has run two express bus routes down the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) from Bolingbrook and Plainfield to downtown Chicago and the Illinois Medical District, and used the expressway’s shoulders to bypass traffic jams. Creating these dedicated transit lanes has resulted in better reliability — on-time performance jumped from 68 to 93 percent […]

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