Rollsigns from Chicago
Regional Transportation Authority
(A predecessor to the PACE Network - Suburban Chicago, IL)
The Regional Transportation Authority was created amid controversy in 1973–74 to regulate,
operate, and provide subsidies to public transportation systems in the six-county Chicago
metropolitan area. Because of a decline in transit riding after World War II and high inflation
during the Vietnam War, many of the systems were running deficits and were threatened
with abandonment or service reductions. The RTA's divisions include the older Chicago
Transit Authority, created in 1945, as well as the commuter railroad system (Metra), and the
suburban bus network (Pace), both of which date from 1983. Prior to the RTA, the region's
mass transit systems received no local tax subsidies and had operated entirely from the
fare box revenues for 116 years. The agency was narrowly approved by the voters in a
referendum in 1974. A strong plurality in Chicago overcame opposition in the suburbs. The
RTA was able to stabilize the transit systems. By the end of 1997, the RTA oversaw one
of the largest transit systems in the world, including a 769-mile rail system with 205 million
passenger trips a year and a 363-route bus system handling 326 million passenger trips
annually. RTA subsidiaries operated 2,100 assorted rail cars and 2,894 buses.

(Historical data: David M. Young from the website Encyclopedia of Chicago.)
This side mylar destination rollsign was
designed for one of the RTA's Grumman
Flxible 870 type buses. The sign is dated
August 4, 1979 and has 72 exposures.
Its sign tag is shown below.
Chicago Regional Transportation Authority Grumman Flxible #8390,
the type of bus this rollsign would have been installed on, is seen
at the Park Ridge, IL Metra on street terminal, northwestbound on
Summit Avenue at S. Prospect Avenue.
(Photo from the collection of Scott Richards. Used with permission.)
GRUM.FLX.RTA WEST-SOUTH DIV.
PART NO.97-3370-3 WESTOWN
PO-92237 SIDE FRD.
30 PCS. BUS 870
8/4/79 TRANSIGN