Get back on the (No. 11) bus!

By Patrick Butler

Use it or lose the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue route, CTA officials warned at their June board meeting as they granted yet another reprieve at least until Sept. 1 at the transit agency’s latest board meeting.

After that, “we expect to make a determination on whether to extend, modify or conclude the pilot sometime this summer and run the service until the fall schedule goes into effect no matter what decision is ultimately made,” CTA spokeswoman Irene Ferradaz said.

Ferradaz said daily ridership now averages 553, still well below the 1,500 target the agency had hoped for. But numerous commuters have been saying since the pilot program started that the experiment was doomed to failure from the start because the “odd hours” (10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays) don’t help much.

Many residents don’t think these hours are much help for people going to and from work or doing local shopping, said Rudy Flores, executive director of the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

The CTA’s Ferradaz said those hours were “based on the hours asked for by the community to go to medical appointments, grocery shopping, senior citizen events and other activities.”

Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) said he still believes there’s a demand for the No. 11 route and will continue trying to get the CTA to consider service hour adjustments that would attract enough riders to meet the CTA’s expectations.

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