GENEVA – Pace will seek public input on its balanced 2016 budget in Geneva this week. A public hearing is set from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Kane County Government Center auditorium.
“We encourage people to participate in the public hearing process, as it’s an opportunity to learn more about how we’re funded, our operations, and our plans for the future,” Pace Board Chairman Richard Kwasneski stated in a news release.
According to a brochure about the budget, Pace plans to spend $228 million on suburban services in 2016, and Pace Suburban Service ridership is estimated to grow by 1.6 percent to 34 million passengers.
The proposed budget includes a 25-cent fare increase for bus customers paying in cash, bumping the adult fare to $2, according to the release. The reduced rate would increase from 85 cents to $1, effective Jan. 1.
This would bring Pace in line with similar policies at the Illinois Tollway and CTA and would encourage the use of Ventra in order to mitigate the costs associated with collecting and handling cash, the release stated.
Ventra fares would remain flat at $1.75 for adults and 85 cents for the reduced rate.
The proposed budget also includes $6.6 million for new route services launched in 2015 and $1 million of new service for Interstate 90 in late 2016, according to a brochure.
“We are excited about the expansion of services contained in the budget and what that means for the mobility of our customers, especially as the economy improves and demand increases for work-related travel,” Kwasneski stated in the release.
According to the release, the balanced Regional ADA Paratransit budget maintains current service levels and fares.
However, the release stated, the status of an $8.5 million state grant for paratransit operations, which has been received annually since 2009, has not been determined. If that funding is not received, the release stated, a fare increase could be proposed later.
The hearing in Kane County is one of 13 scheduled in the Chicago area. Visit www.PaceBus.com to view the budget document and for instructions on submitting comments about the budget electronically.
If you go
What: Pace budget public hearing
When: 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: Kane County Government Center auditorium, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva