CHICAGO (CBS) — Effective Monday, the shoulders on the Stevenson Expressway are open to Pace buses.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, Pace express buses will use the shoulders of the expressway from Interstate 355 northeast all the way to Kedzie Avenue.

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It is part of a two-year experimental program to run the special Pace buses on the shoulder during the morning rush when the expressway is congested – from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the inbound side, and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the outbound side, Monday through Friday.

The buses are allowed to go 15 mph faster than traffic, but may not exceed 35 mph.

Buses will not use the shoulders at all if traffic is moving faster than 35.

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Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot said last month that the rules to govern the new shoulder-riding program are patterned after those used in Cincinnati — a city that has never had an accident blamed on a shoulder-riding bus.

The shoulders will accommodate Pace runs No. 755 and 855, coming from the far southwest suburbs. The routes serve communities such as Bolingbrook and Romeoville.

Wilmot said that Pace expects big increases in ridership on the two routes as a result of the new program.

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Both originate in Plainfield. The 855 bus goes to and from the Loop, terminating at Michigan Avenue and Superior Street. The 755 runs to and from the Near West Side Illinois Medical District. The fare will continue to be $4 each way for adults, with a reduced fare of $2.