Passenger shelters and retail space coming to Harvey Pace Bus Transportation Center
The groundbreaking, set for 2024, will coincide with renovations to the 154th Street Metra Station across the street.
Downtown Harvey won’t ever look the same when the city’s bustling bus depot gets its first upgrades in its 20-year history.
City officials joined state and congressional leadership last month to celebrate the effort.
Mayor Chris Clark expressed gratitude to the Biden-Harris administration and collaboration across the public sector that bring major developments to Harvey.
“It [the south suburbs] is that place that just about everyone comes through at some point in time in their travels,” Clark said. “And, why not have a wonderful edifice here—$70 million worth of investment—right here in the city of Harvey.”
Upgrades to the bus station include an indoor waiting area, bathrooms, retail space, and a consolidated commuter parking lot. The boarding station currently has ten bus bays, which will increase to 14.
The current facility lacks passenger shelters. Winters are particularly brutal.
There’s a lobby area to purchase Ventra cards, but it’s paltry to protect commuters against the weather at a station that sees nearly 2,500 daily weekday boardings. Even as temperatures dip, commuters have been prohibited from waiting in the lobby for reasons unknown.
The overall goal is to connect the Harvey Pace Transportation Center, which has the highest daily bus boarding activity of any in the suburban area, according to Pace officials, with the 154th Street Metra station across the street.
The agencies aim to make transfers between Pace buses and Metra trains easier, especially for people with limited mobility.
The estimated cost, a $70 million price tag, reflects investments from local, state, and federal partners.
The project received a $20 million grant through the United States Department Transportation Rebuilding American Infrastructure through Sustainability and Equity fund, or RAISE. According to Pace officials, this is the agency’s first RAISE-related project of the mere 7% awarded nationally.
In addition to the $20 million federal boost, Pace will pump $23 million into the effort. The state’s infrastructure-focused Rebuild Illinois is providing 50% of Pace’s share.
Metra, which will reconstruct the 154th Street Metra Station across the street, will pump $26 million into the multimodal effort. That project is still in its design phase but is slated to break ground in 2024 and wrap in 2027. Confirmed key improvements include digital displays with train-tracking information, a new enclosed street-level entrance, new commuter parking lot, and waiting areas with on-demand heat.
The bus depot rehabilitation will also break ground in 2024.
Those improvements are part of the Metra Electric Community Initiative, a program to renovate 13 stations along the Metra Electric Line throughout Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs.
Park Avenue, spanning all of 15 blocks from its northernmost point on 152nd Street to 167th Street, will be redesigned to facilitate the project. The city will have to coordinate the jurisdictional transfer of the strip from the Illinois Department of Transportation to Harvey, according to Pace officials to enable street redesign work.
While riders will be able to access bus service during the project, the pace reconstruction will likely have alternative routes in effect.
The announcement comes amid other transit efforts in the area.
The rail station at 147th Street and Sibley Boulevard, currently closed for rehabilitation, is currently being renovated.
Broadway Avenue will have bike and pedestrian lanes, bus shelters, and bike facilities in a few years. That will mirror a similar bike lane connecting UChicago Ingalls Memorial Hospital to the downtown area.
Pace is also expanding bus service along South Halsted Street and the Tri-State Tollway.
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