ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL– As the old saying goes, half of the fun is getting there. If that's true, then families, seniors and other customers of new Pace express routes to Brookfield Zoo are in for a thrill this summer.
Pace, the Forest Preserves of Cook County Board of Commissioners, and Brookfield Zoo joined together to develop and promote convenient new transit connections to and from the zoo. On Memorial Day, May 26, Pace begins operating routes 770 and 771, which travel between the zoo and the CTA's Blue, Green and Pink lines. On Saturday, June 7, Route 772 begins service connecting the 95th/Dan Ryan CTA Red Line station with the zoo. All three routes operate until August 30. The regular, adult fare is $1.75 and up to two children aged 7 and under ride free with each fare-paying adult. Reduced fare and free ride programs for eligible seniors and people with disabilities are available through the RTA.
"We're excited to add these new routes to our roster of Express Service to Popular Destinations, which offer express travel to places including Soldier Field, U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field," said Pace Chairman of the Board Richard Kwasneski. "Whether we're carrying customers from suburban locations to destinations in Chicago or vice-versa, our express service provides families, seniors and everyone else with stress-free travel to a number of fun places throughout Chicagoland."
"The Forest Preserves have the opportunity to provide all Cook County residents with access to nature and healthy, outdoor recreation opportunities. We are delighted to be working with Pace to increase the public transportation options that serve our system of Forest Preserves (which includes the Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden) so that they can be enjoyed by a greater number of people, particularly those who do not own vehicles," said Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.
"I commend the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Pace and the Chicago Zoological Society for embarking on this great partnership! Cook County residents from the inner-city will now have an affordable and stress free transportation option to Brookfield Zoo. This initiative will undoubtedly allow more residents to enjoy a unique environmental and conservation experience that is both educational and recreational," said Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore.
Route 770 – Operates Saturday and Sunday service approximately once each hour on with stops at the CTA Green Line Harlem Station and CTA Blue Line Forest Park Transit Center. Later evening service is provided on select Saturdays for the Zoo's Summer Nights program. Service begins Memorial Day and will operate via its Sunday schedule on the Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day holidays.
Route 771 – Operates Saturday and Sunday service approximately once each hour between Brookfield Zoo and the CTA Pink Line 54th/Cermak Station. Later evening service is provided on select Saturdays for the Zoo's Summer Nights program. Service begins Memorial Day. The route will operate via its Sunday schedule on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
Route 772 – Operates Saturday service with three round trips from the CTA Red Line 95th/Dan Ryan Station. One later evening return trip is provided on select Saturdays for the Zoo's Summer Nights program. Service begins June 7. No Sunday or holiday service is provided on Route 772.
"I want to thank Pace for offering express service to the Brookfield Zoo. Now more Cook County residents can have access to all the treasures that Brookfield Zoo has to offer," said Cook County Commissioner and Zoological Committee Chairman Jeff Tobolski.
"Pace's Brookfield Zoo Express provides an affordable and stress free trip to the zoo where families and seniors will be able to spend quality time with one another rather than fighting traffic," said Jo-Elle Mogerman, vice president of institutional planning and inclusion for the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages the zoo. "Additionally, as a conservation organization, we are thrilled to be partnering with Pace to be able to offer our guests an alternative to driving to the zoo by using public transportation."
Schedule information is posted at PaceBus.com. Seating on buses is first come, first served though riders are asked to observe priority seating areas for seniors, people with disabilities, expectant mothers and other passengers in need. Large groups are asked to contact Pace in advance for assistance with planning by calling (847) 228-4296.