The #11 Lincoln Avenue bus will cease to be on Sunday, Dec. 16, according to a recent clarification from the Chicago Transit Authority’s Media Relations office. But the route’s inevitable future speaks to the lack of concern shown by the Chicago Transit Authority in regard to area residents, said Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th).
“The #11 bus line is a lifeline for many people in the 47th Ward and 32nd Ward,” Pawar said. “This is coming at a time when the Mayor and [CTA] President [Forrest] Claypool are talking about increasing public transit options citywide and reducing our carbon footprint. This flies in the face of that.”
Last September, the CTA voted to eliminate the #11 based on potential redundancy between the bus line and the CTA Brown Line.
There was minimal effort on the part of the CTA to find out from residents and businesses how they would be affected if the bus were to be cut, Pawar said.
“This idea that there was public input and public participation is, frankly, bulls–t,” Pawar said. “Even after hearing from a few [area residents and businesses] to still arrive at the decision that they did, to me, seems like this was a done deal from the beginning and it’s just a terrible decision. It shows that, at least in this instance, that the CTA and the Mayor’s Office is out of touch.”
In Spring 2013, the Chicago Department of Transportation will debut a new bike-sharing program. At a meeting last month, CDOT representatives said that the new system would help alleviate crowding on public transit. However, the new bike sharing program won’t help many of those who ride the #11, Pawar said.
“For people who are able to use the bike share service, they will,” Pawar said. “Asking a senior or someone carrying groceries to walk an extra four or five blocks, again, flies in the face of what the CTA is trying to do. The thing about public transportation is it’s not always about trying to make things more efficient, efficiency is not always the end goal. It’s also about be accessible to everybody.”