SUBURBAN TRANSIT ROUTES

ROUTES 521-540/559

AURORA

In 1971, the city owned Aurora Transit System assumed operation of buses previously operated by Aurora City Lines, a subsidiary of National City Lines. In 1989, the Aurora Transit System became a division directly operated by Pace, known as the Fox Valley Division.

National City Lines assumed operation of Aurora's buses in 1936, after conversion from the last streetcars two years earlier, which had been operated by the Aurora Elgin and Fox River Electric Co.


521 - High Street - was High Street streetcar line, operating both directions via High Street. Converted to buses 1934. Before 1973 became a one way loop, operating one direction primarily via Ohio Street instead. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route renamed East Circulator, and combined with routes #525 and #527. East Circulator route primarily operated north via Ohio Street, east via Sheffer, south via Farnsworth, and west via 5th Avenue and North Avenue. Route discontinued 10/26/2015 as part of another restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, with Ohio Street segment becoming part of route #533.

522 - Sherman - evolved from the South Lake route and the Lincoln route, both originally streetcar lines. Lincoln route was opened in 1882 as a horse car route, electrified in early 1890's, and converted to buses 8/6/32. And South Lake route opened in early 1890's, and was converted to buses 11/17/34. Became one way loop route known as Sherman route before 1973, outbound primarily via Lincoln and Douglas, and returning primarily via Lake. Sherman was south end of route until mid 1980's, when route extended south to Settlers Landing shopping center. And in 1997, route began using Montgomery instead of Sherman west of Douglas, and was renamed Montgomery route. Return route eventually via River instead of Lake. Route discontinued 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, with route #524 assuming service on River segment.

523 - North Lake - was a streetcar line and part of interurban line north to Elgin, opened in early 1890's, and converted to buses 3/31/35. Under National City Lines operation, service was part of Aurora-Elgin Bus Line operation. In early days of Aurora Transit System operation, local route operated as far north as Aurora Center shopping center. Route gradually extended north, reaching present end of line in 1994, when new Pace bus garage opened at that location. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route combined into route #802 to Geneva and St. Charles.

524 - West Aurora - was Downer streetcar line, opened in early 1890's. Operated both directions via Downer and south via Le Grande to Marseillaise, and converted to buses 7/30. Underwent various modifications after 1948, by mid 1980's operated west to Edgelawn. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route renamed West Circulator. Route primarily operated west via Downer and Kensington and Prairie to Edgelawn, and return route revised to operate primarily via Jericho and River, replacing segment of route #522. Effective 10/26/2015 as part of another restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, revised to operate primarily via River and Jericho and north via Randall Road.

525 - Farnsworth - evolved from the New York route and the Claim route, both originally streetcar lines. New York route was Aurora's first streetcar route, opened in 1882 as a horse car route, electrified in early 1890's, and converted to buses 5/20/33. And Claim route was opened in 1882 as a horse car route, electrified in early 1890's, and converted to buses 11/17/34. By 1973, route was a one way loop, with portion of westbound return route using New York. Routed through with route #527 as one large loop beginning in 1992, by then the #530 Fox Valley Center route was main route serving New York. Route discontinued 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, with route #521 assuming all service in area. Effective 10/26/2015 as part of another restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route #521 discontinued and replaced with new route #540 Farnsworth.

526 - West Plaza - would serve an area which never had streetcars. Was a one way loop, operating westbound via various streets north of Galena, returning east into downtown Aurora via Galena. Effective 7/25/94, route changed to operate primarily via Galena in both directions, and route renamed West Galena. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route combined into route #530, forming new through route.

527 - Moecherville - evolved from Union streetcar line, which operated both directions via Union between New York and 7th Ave. Converted to buses 7/30, and became a one way loop operating as far east as Smith. By 1973, operated as far east as Farnsworth, with eastbound route via Galena. Routed through with route #525 as one large loop beginning in 1992, by then the #530 Fox Valley Center route was main route operating via Galena. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route discontinued and combined into route #521. Effective 10/26/2015 as part of another restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route #521 discontinued and replaced with new route #540 Farnsworth.

528 - Fifth Street - was Fifth Street streetcar route, opened in early 1890's, and operating both directions south via Fifth and east via Parker to Phillips Park. Converted to buses 11/17/34. By 1973, became one way loop, returning via Spencer, which had previously evolved from Union streetcar line. Route subsequently underwent various modifications, including eventually returning via Union instead of Spencer. From mid 1980's until 1997, operated south of Montgomery to Settlers Landing shopping center. Began serving Rush-Copley Medical Center about a year earlier. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route renamed Rush Copley Medical Center, and revised to operate both directions primarily via Union. And Fifth Street segment transferred to route #529. Route discontinued 10/26/2015 as part of another restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, replaced with a new dial-a-ride service.

529 - Indian Trail - evolved from Pennsylvania and Spruce-View streetcar lines, opened in early 1890's. Pennsylvania route converted to buses 8/6/32, and Spruce-View route converted to buses 5/20/33. Bus route was first known as Spruce route, name changed to Illinois 12/12/48, when route was revised and expanded. By 1973, route was changed further, and renamed to Indian Trail. Route subsequently underwent various minor modifications in subsequent years, including a return route via Elmwood, Illinois, Broadway. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, route revised and extended north via Randall Road into St. Charles. Route also combined with portion of route #528, forming new route via Fifth Street. Route discontinued 10/26/2015 as part of another restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, with Randall Road segment replaced with a new branch of route #802, and Fifth Street segment replaced with a new dial-a-ride service.

530 - Fox Valley Center-West Galena - introduced 2/17/75 coinciding with the opening of the area's new major shopping mall. Extended into downtown Naperville in mid 1980's, and a few years later extended to serve additional shopping areas along Route 59. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, extended to Naperville Metra station, and Route 59 service split off into new route #535. Route also combined with route #526, forming new through route.

531 - Waubonsee College - introduced 8/1/76, operating between Aurora and community college in Sugar Grove, via Galena Ave. Service gradually cut back during 1990's, until eliminated in 2000.

532 - Illinois Avenue - introduced 8/29/77 as Randall Plaza route, renamed Sullivan Road route in 1994. Underwent various minor modifications over the years. Prior to 10/24/2005, primarily operated in one way loop via Illinois, Edgelawn, Sullivan, Highland. Effective 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, renamed Illinois Avenue and revised to operate both directions via Illinois.

533 - Molitor - introduced 8/29/77, departing Aurora north via Broadway and east via Indian Trail, underwent various minor modifications over the years. Effective 10/26/2015 as part of a restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, revised to operate via Ohio Street, replacing part of route #521.

534 - Fox Valley Villages - introduced 6/29/87 as rush hour feeder route originally to Naperville Metra station, changed to serve Route 59 station after that new station opened 7/17/89.

535 - Fox Valley Villages East - introduced 7/17/89 as rush hour feeder route to newly opened Route 59 Metra station, consolidated into route #534 effective 8/17/90.

535 - Fox Valley Shuttle - introduced 10/24/2005 as part of a major restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, replacing portion of route #530. route primarily operated along Route 59 between the Route 59 Metra station and Fox Valley Center. Discontinued 2/7/2010.

536 - Aurora-UPS Addison - introduced 10/11/89, for the benefit of employees at the United Parcel Service terminal in Addison. Discontinued in 2002.

540 - Farnsworth - introduced 10/26/2015 as part of a restructuring of Aurora Pace routes, replacing part of route #521.

559 - Illinois Route 59 - introduced 10/23/2016, serving the growing corridor between Naperville and Aurora.

From 5/30/81 to 8/3/81, the Aurora Transit System was shut down because of the RTA funding crisis at the time, when the RTA did not have the cash to pay to keep the system operating.


Click for Historic Streetcar Map

Click for National City Lines Bus Map

Click for 1984 RTA Bus Map

(The 1984 map image may take a while to download.)


In downtown Aurora, Pace buses originate at the Aurora Transportation Center, which also is a train station. The Aurora Transportation Center opened 6/29/87, and was constructed out of the old Burlington railroad shops buildings. The roundhouse (pictured) was developed by the late Chicago Bears player Walter Payton into "America's Brewpub".