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Campaign to Save the #11 Lincoln Avenue Bus From CTA Axe

By Patty Wetli | Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This scene about to get scarce along Lincoln Avenue. Credit: Flickr/davidwilson1949

In journalism lingo, it’s called burying the lead (technically “lede”). Deep into the second paragraph of today’s announcement from the CTA, which touted a new initiative to improve service, came the language that has a number of North Siders up in arms: “CTA has proposed discontinuing a small number of routes that duplicate existing service or that have extremely low ridership.”

One of those routes, it turns out, is the #11 Lincoln Avenue bus, specifically the stretch it covers between Western and Fullerton.

Riders bemoaned the loss, venting their frustration online: “Ugh. This destroys how I get to work,” wrote one.

The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce immediately dashed off a complaint on behalf of the local businesses it represents, particularly those along Lincoln between Belmont and Diversey: “Lincoln Avenue is quickly becoming Chicago’s hot new commercial corridor and accessible public transportation fosters continued growth. The local work force and consumers rely on the #11 bus to get them to this area of Lincoln Avenue.” The statement went on to encourage residents to email their support for the Lincoln bus to feedback@transitchicago.com

CTA concedes that #11 is a busy route. “We have pretty good ridership on this route,” said Tammy Chase, CTA spokersperson, citing statistics that show an average of 5,800 riders per weekday. “It’s not a ridership issue.”

Rather, service was considered duplicative with Brown Line rail stops. “There’s plenty of transportation there,” Chase said. East-west bus routes along major arterial streets shuttle passengers to and from Brown Line stations, she noted, and walking from, say, the Wellington station to the Lincoln/Wellington/Southport intersection is less than one mile. “We factored all this in.”

The bigger picture, according to Chase, is the need for CTA to add service where ridership is experiencing tremendous growth, which the agency opted to accomplish via route efficiencies as opposed to fare hikes.

Still, CTA’s proposal is just that, a proposal. A hearing to gather public feedback is scheduled for Sept. 4, 6 p.m., 567 W. Lake St. The CTA board will vote on the measure Sept. 12.

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  • vouchey

    This is total crap. I ride that bus regularly and I just don’t see how the Brown Line is an adequate replacement. How is it that one of Chicago’s main thoroughfares does not rate it’s own bus line?

  • Mimihaha

    This is one of the dumber ideas they’ve had in a long time.

  • Save Route 11

    Join together with members of the community to save the #11 Lincoln Avenue bus! Information and resources can be found at: http://www.saveroute11.com or http://www.twitter.com/saveroute11

  • Scott Sanderson

    Lincoln is such a crowded street with so much traffic. Although I like the bus, it is so unpleasant to ride a bicycle on that street. We should take out one of the lanes of parked cars, and let the bus use that . . . oh wait no we can’t because we sold all those parking spaces for the next 100 years.

  • AdamHerstein

    I’ve never used the #11 bus because of its infrequent service and terrible off-peak hours. Lake View is a very walkable neighborhood and people are drawn to commercial strips like Lincoln regardless of bus service.

  • http://twitter.com/TomMattaBigBand Thomas Matta

    The Lincoln Bus serves more than just Lakeview (thank God!) – any anyone that has not ridden this bus has NO IDEA what a hardship will be created by eliminating it. People of every walk of life & economic status depend on this vital route. Please keep making noise, emailing the CTA, alerting your alderman and chambers of commerce!

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