Pace, village to host meetings on future of Niles Free Bus

People board a city bus outside of the Golf Mill Shopping Center on Friday, July 20th. The village of Niles is considering making changes to bus routes of the Niles Free Bus and is holding two public hearings on the matter. | Alyssa Schueneman~Sun-Times Media
People board a city bus outside of the Golf Mill Shopping Center on Friday, July 20th. The village of Niles is considering making changes to bus routes of the Niles Free Bus and is holding two public hearings on the matter. | Alyssa Schueneman~Sun-Times Media

The second meeting on the proposed changes to Pace bus routes throughout Niles will be held on June 12, at the Niles Public Library

During the meeting, Niles residents will get a chance to see possible changes to the Niles Free Bus routes. Since the beginning of this year, the village and Pace have been working to improve the routes and figure out the best way to integrate it into the new Arterial Rapid Transit Bus service along Milwaukee Avenue.

The meeting will be divided into two sessions, and residents are welcome to attend whichever session is the most convenient for them.

There are currently three Niles Free Bus routes. Route 411 serves most of the village in a winding, bi-directional loop, linking together all the major destinations. Route 412 serves Golf Mill Mall and several other retailers on the north end of Niles. Route 413 provides service on the south end of the village.

Niles is also served by eight regular Pace bus routes. The suburban transit agency plans to improve service along Route 270, which travels along Milwaukee Avenue from Golf Mill Mall to Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood. The Arterial Rapid Transit service buses would get signal priority at intersections, and they would be able to go around traffic using short bus-only segments and special, bus-only traffic signals.

Since January, the Pace and the Village of Niles have been looking for ways to improve Niles Free Bus service and figure out the best way to integrate it with ART. It plans to unveil its findings at the June 12 meeting and give the public an opportunity to comment.

To accommodate residents’ schedules, it will be divided into two identical sessions. During each session, residents would get the presentation about the project findings, and they will have a chance to look at the displays and ask questions.

The first session will take place between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., with the presentation taking place at 1:30 p.m. The second session will take place between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., with the presentation taking place at 6:30 p.m. Residents are welcome to stop in any time during either session.

In addition to the meeting, Pace will be holding three pop-up meetings throughout Niles. The first meeting will be held on May 28 at the Niles Family Fitness Center, between 5 p.m and 7 p.m. The second meeting will be held on May 31, at the Jewel-Osco on the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Oakton Street, between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

The final pop-up meeting will be held later that day at Golf Mill Mall’s Center Court, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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