Are the Days Numbered for the #11 Bus?

By Patrick Butler

After little more than six months of restored service along the Western-to-Fullerton portion of Lincoln Avenue, the CTA is reportedly considering dropping service along the No. 11 route for lack of patronage.

CTA spokesman Jeffrey Tolman said ridership is still at about 500 a day, well below the 1,500 the CTA says it needs to justify the route.

Ald, Ameya Pawar, State Rep. Greg Harris (D-13th) and former 47th Ward Ald. Eugene Schulter exchange pleasantries during June, 2016, relaunch of the No. 11 bus route. Photo by Patrick Butler

The pilot program was originally to last six months, but was lengthened to a full year. Tolman said it’s not as much a question of whether people want the route to continue, but whether that’s the best use of the CTA’s resources.

The route’s supporters, led by Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) complained from the start that the No. 11 bus didn’t operate at night, weekends or during morning rush hours – which virtually guaranteed the restored route wouldn’t meet its ridership quotas.

Pawar said he would continue working with community groups to keep the service running , but conceded that unless the hours were changed, ridership would stay below the required 1,500 a day, making it hard to make a good case for continuing the service unless the hours are changed.

Pawar said the CTA should have at least added more service hours when the initial six-month service was extended.

The CTA has repeatedly insisted the test hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. were based on riders’ feedback.  Many of the senior citizens said they needed the No. 11 mainly to get to their doctors and do their shopping.

The No. 11 route runs from Howard/McCormick and goes south on Lincoln to Fullerton avenue.

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