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Pace Bus pilot enables first-of-its-kind integration between Transit and DemandTrans

Partnership leads to the first deployment of GOFS-lite to support on-demand transit

January 10, 2024

Pace Suburban Bus recently launched a new app integration that equips Pace riders with real-time travel information and encompasses Pace’s family of services, making transit more accessible for the many people who rely on Pace to reach destinations throughout Northeastern Illinois.

Before the latest integration, Transit — Pace’s recommended trip-planning app — helped direct riders to numerous Pace services, including fixed-route buses, the Pace Connect rideshare service, and the Pace VanGo vanpool service. The recent update to the app incorporated Pace On Demand, a reservation-based service that provides shared rides through a separate app. Powered by local service provider DemandTrans, the latest integration of Pace On Demand allows Pace customers who use Transit to reserve rides that can connect them to nearby fixed-route services and destinations in just a few taps, and for the affordable price of $2. 

It also marks Transit‘s first time working with DemandTrans, Pace’s on-demand contractor and app provider since 2014. DemandTrans used a new industry data standard, GOFS-lite, which made it easy to quickly integrate with Transit.

The launch and incorporation of Pace On Demand in Transit represents a technical milestone, as it is the first time an on-demand transit service was integrated using GOFS-lite. Several of Transit‘s own developers contributed to the definition of this open data standard, which produces lightweight code that contains the essentials to combine reservation-based transit with fixed-route trip planning.

Pace On Demand serves 10 zones across Pace’s six-county service region, serving customers from Joliet in Will County to Round Lake in Lake County. The latest integration provides riders with a holistic app that can help them plan their trips across numerous transit services in the region, helping connect them to Pace’s buses, Metra’s suburban trains, and CTA’s subway system in Chicago. 

After opening Transit, riders can discover the service right from the home screen. If they’re in a coverage zone, they’ll see a “Request ride” button, which they can tap to book a trip. Upon entering a destination in Transit, riders will instantly see the trip options available to them based on their origin, destination, and time of day. They may be shown Pace On Demand rides that connect to fixed route service, or Pace On Demand-only rides. Riders can tap one of these options to launch the Pace On Demand app and finalize their booking.

With the launch of the Pace On Demand integration with Transit, the doors are open for additional on-demand transit integrations to get up and running using the GOFS-lite standard.

Do you work at a transit agency or on-demand transit provider with services that could benefit from integration with Transit? Drop us a line.
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