Chicago & West Towns Railway Co. #343, built by Ford in 1944 and displayed at the Illinois Railway Museum. Although in reality, the highest number for a West Towns Ford bus was #342. And apparently, this bus was actually from Montebello Municipal Bus Lines in California, and repainted to resemble a West Towns bus.
Shortly after its formation in 1974, the Regional Transportation Authority purchased 155 General Motors 35 foot "New Look" buses. RTA GM "Fishbowl" #8126 is seen in the mid 1980's at Woodfield Mall, in its original RTA paint scheme, but with new Pace lettering. Bus is on the old #695 route between Arlington Heights and Woodfield, with a makeshift destination sign. The #695 route has since been replaced with the revised #696 route. These buses were completely retired in 1993. (Photo contributed by "Extrmn8or".)
These Pace General Motors "fishbowl" buses were spotted at the Pace Acceptance Facility in South Holland, shortly after their retirement in 1993. All are 40 foot model T8H-5307A. To the right is a 700 series bus originally built for South Suburban Safeway Lines in 1973, behind it is #153 built for Suburban Transit System in 1975. Visible to the left is the front of #430, built for Nortran in 1975.
In 1979, the RTA purchased 205 Grumman Flxible 40 foot buses. These buses were originally were in a paint scheme with gray and black, with an orange stripe. These buses were plagued with problems, and many transit systems retired them prematurely. Pace retired many of them during the late 1980's, while a few survived on the West Division until 1993, receiving the new Pace paint scheme. One such repainted bus is seen on the #307 Harlem route some time during the 1980's. (Photo contributed by "Extrmn8or".)
After Pace was formed as the suburban bus division of the RTA, the first Pace acquisitions were 20 Gillig "Phantom" 35 foot buses. These were the first lift equipped main line buses to operate in the Chicago area, and all were assigned to the Pace North Division in Waukegan during their entire lives, until their retirement in 1999. Bus #8604 is shown at Washington St. and Sheridan Road, approaching downtown Waukegan on the #571 route from Zion.
Many Pace bus acquisitions were from Orion, including Orion I #8866. These 40 foot buses mostly operate in the suburban areas immediately outside Chicago. This bus is shown at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, on the #209 Northwest Highway/Golf Road route. These non lift equipped buses were retired by 2003.
Similar looking Orion I buses were numbered in the 2000's, and were equipped with wheelchair lifts. The first of the 2000's were 35 feet long, and mostly went to the "satellite" cities of Joliet, Aurora, and Elgin. (Waukegan already had the Gillig 8600's.) Bus #2050 is shown leaving the Midway Airport transit terminal, on the #831 route between there and Joliet.