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Local Officials join Pace Suburban Bus leaders to commemorate route dedicated to former               Will County Executive Larry Walsh
Anastasia Tuskey
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Local Officials join Pace Suburban Bus leaders to commemorate route dedicated to former Will County Executive Larry Walsh

On Tuesday, October 13, local officials from Will County, the City of Joliet, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Metra, and Pace gathered to honor the late Will County Executive Larry Walsh. Walsh was instrumental in expanding mass transit services across Will County and was a champion improving mass transit options for the senior and disabled populations in the county.

Pace Bus Chairman Rick Kwasneski emceed the event that included speakers from many state and local agencies. Walsh was recognized for his dedication to preserving the quality of life for the residents of Will County while balancing its development as North America's largest inland port.

“Larry was a driving force in expanding paratransit across the county, especially in Eastern Will County,” Kwasneski said. “His commitment to coordinating existing services and expanding service opened many opportunities for our senior and disabled population to have access to safe, reliable transportation to work, medical appointments, and other everyday tasks.”

Walsh was known across the state for his bi-partisan ability to work with others to accomplish any task, said J.D. Ross, Will County’s representative to the RTA. Ross praised Walsh for his talents in bringing people to the table and finding compromises.

“Larry was one of a kind,” Ross said. “He knew how to get things done by working together and he loved Will County. There will never be another one like him.”

Will County Executive Denise Winfrey worked alongside Walsh as a member of the county board. She acknowledged Walsh’s deep commitment to Will County

“Larry never missed an opportunity to move Will County forward, to talk about Will County, to praise Will County,” Winfrey said. “He knew transportation was a big part of Will County and was dedicated to equal transportation services for all our residents.”

Other speakers included Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Omer Osman, RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard, Metra Chief Operating Officer Bruce Marcheschi, Pace Board of Directors member Roger Claar, IDOT Manager of Governmental Affairs Kevin Donahue, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning member Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke, Will County Governmental League Executive Director Hugh O’Hara, and Will County Center for Economic Development President and CEO John Grueling.

A bus, that is part of Pace’s Bus on Shoulder service from Plainfield, Romeoville, and Bolingbrook to the Chicago loop, has been dedicated to Walsh with his name imprinted on each side of the bus. The bus will remain dedicated to Walsh for 12 years until it is retired from service.

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