Ald. Ameya Pawar trying to restart service on No. 11 bus route
By ROSALIND ROSSI Transportation Reporter July 16, 2014 11:58PM
Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th)
Updated: July 17, 2014 1:00PM
Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) posted an online survey Wednesday as part of a campaign to resurrect part of the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue bus route that was killed off in 2012.
The development emerged as CTA board members asked staff to investigate why CTA bus ridership is dropping — and where those riders are going.
More than 100 people joined Pawar at a public hearing in 2012 to oppose the elimination of the middle section of the No. 11 route.
The CTA ended bus service on the route from the Western Brown Line Station to Fullerton as part of a “crowding-reduction” effort that trimmed “redundant” or little-used bus and train routes to create more space on crowded ones.
“We never gave up,’’ Pawar said Wednesday. “We’ve been hearing from our constituents for almost two years now about the elimination of the No. 11.
“There’s uniformity of opinion that the cut to the No. 11 bus was shortsighted and it hurt a lot of people,’’ he said.
Here is the link to the survey.
His survey asks 47th Ward constituents if the Brown Line, about five blocks away, is an “acceptable substitute” for the No. 11 bus; if they are patronizing businesses differently without the bus service; and if they are more likely to take a taxi or drive without it.
In addition, the survey asks residents to write comments explaining how the elimination of the route has affected them.
CTA President Forrest Claypool didn’t seem receptive to any resurrection Wednesday.
“We have no plans to change our previous crowding-reduction initiative” that killed off part of the No. 11, Claypool told reporters. “We think we balanced the service appropriately.”
Pawar said the Brown Line is too far for many seniors in his ward to walk to, and they were particularly hard hit by the No. 11’s demise.
“You have seniors who have a tough time getting around, going to the doctor, the library. They don’t feel safe going up and down the stairs of the Brown Line station,’’ Pawar said.
Parents also used the route to accompany their children to Burley School, he said. Others used it just to “get around the neighborhood,’’ he said.
Constituents have waited a sufficient time to document the impact of losing the bus route, and the survey should help them do so, he said.
“It’s been two years. The impacts are real,’’ Pawar said.