Time is not on the side of the Lincoln Avenue bus, but that’s not stopping Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) from rallying local constituents to join him on Monday evening at 6:00 p.m. at CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake St., to state their case once more at the CTA’s 2013 budget hearing.
Often-described as a “lifeline” within the community, the Lincoln Avenue bus was marked for elimination last September after it was determined that the bus’ route overlapped to much with the CTA Brown Line.
To make their voices heard in unison, shuttle buses will be transporting residents to and from the corner of Montrose and Lincoln to CTA Headquarters for the meeting, hoping to show just what a necessity the bus is to the community.
“[We're] coordinating in an effort to get people downtown, we’ve got a couple buses coming, we’re getting t-shirts made,” Pawar said. “[We're] getting down there and showing our support for the #11 and letting the Board know that it has to reconsider its decision, to look at the people who are going to be impacted by this devastating cut and reconsider their decision.”
Pawar added that using TIF money to keep the bus line in place, to him, is not off the table.
“I’m willing to surplus TIF money, get the money back to the original taxing districts and part of that money will go back to the City of Chicago and seeing whether there’s a way to create some sort of grant between the city and CTA to save this bus line,” he said.
Since the decision was reached to eliminate the bus, his constituents have become more nervous and upset, Pawar said, adding that it’s crucial to keep the system in place because of its impact on senior citizens.
“I think, most importantly, [residents] are willing to come together and fight to keep the bus, to do what it takes,” he said. “We hear all the talk all the time from every politician–myself included–saying ‘It’s all about the kids, it’s always about the kids,’ but it’s just as important to think about the people who got those kids there, who laid the foundation. I’m asking the CTA–I’m going to be pleading with them–to rethink their decision.
“Monday’s not going to be the end,” Pawar said. “We’re going to go right up to the very end if we have to.”
The CTA’s 2013 budget meeting is scheduled for Dec. 10, 2012 at 6 p.m. at CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake St.