Monday, September 12, 2016

The New Bus: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where does the bus go?
A: You can see a route map here.  It starts at the Ashland Orange Line stop, then heads east on 31st St. It forms a big U to hit the Red and Green Line stops on 35th, then heads east again on 31st.  It stops at King Drive, does a circle, and comes back about the same way.
Q: When does it run?
A: It starts around 10am and ends around 7pm.

Q: How often does it come?
A: About every 30 minutes.

Q: What's a pilot route?
A:  Basically, an experiment.  The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will let the bus run for a while to see how many riders it gets, then make a decision about its future based on that.

Q: How long will the pilot route last?
A: Six months, from early September to early March.

Q: What happens if the pilot route fails?
A: No more bus.  If we fall below a target number of riders, our route gets axed.  So ride that bus!  If we don't use it, we lose it.

Q: When was the bus discontinued, and why?
A: In 1997, the CTA discontinued the bus because it wasn't getting enough riders.

Q: Why did it come back?
A: Bridgeport's changed a lot since 1997--way more businesses have gone up on 31st St.  Seeing a need, Bridgeport Alliance decided to organize to get the 31st St. bus back in 2008.  It's led a campaign, along with various allies, since then.  BA won the pilot route in late 2015.

Q: Where can I get more information?
A: Check out the CTA page for the bus here

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bus Birthday Bash!

Bridgeport Alliance is thrilled to report that the 31st Street pilot route debuted on September 6.  This is the culmination of eight years of persistent and passionate activism, both by Bridgeport Alliance and by our allies, including the Crosstown Bus Coalition and Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community.

And so, like any sane people with something to celebrate, we're having a party!  
  • Free food (courtesy Alderman Thompson and Commissioner Daley)
  • Raffles for bus passes
  • A short film on the 31st Street bus campaign
  • Friends! Community! Happiness!
Friday, September 9
First Trinity
643 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616

Don't forget to ride the bus--we want our pilot route to pass with flying colors.  You can start by riding it to the party!

Monday, August 22, 2016

August General Meeting

All are welcome to attend Bridgeport Alliance's next general meeting.

Where: Community Hall, First Trinity, 31st St., Bridgeport
When: Aug. 25, 7pm

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Coming Attraction: A 31st St. Bus Movie!

Bridgeport Alliance is pleased to announce that it's working with a local filmmaker to produce a short film about its involvement with the campaign for a 31st St. bus. 

And we need photographs and video!

Do you have any images of the various actions BA has done over the years for the bus?
That includes CTA board meetings, our trip to Dan Lipinski's house, the many meetings with aldermen, or our two bike-n-rolls! 

How about historical photos of yourself on or near the bus before it was cancelled? 

If the pics are on Facebook, tag Bridgeport Alliance. If they're on your phone or in your camera, e-mail them to Please tell us your full name as well as the names of the people in the image(s), the location, and the year (if you know them).

Monday, July 25, 2016

July General Meeting

The back of your neck may be gettin' dirt and gritty, but social justice ought to cool you down.
Join us for July's general meeting at 7pm in the Community Hall of First Trinity on 31st St.  July 28th.  See you there!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

31st Street Bus Scrapbook

Bridgeport Alliance made the news last week when we turned out at a Chicago Transit Authority meeting to demand better bus coverage.  Curious?  You've come to the right blog.  We got coverage in a number of important news outlets.  Check out CBS Chicago here, the Chicago Tribune here, and the Chicago Sun-Times here.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

CTA: Will you help Bridgeport?

 The folks at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity in Bridgeport think the 31st St. Bus is a great idea.  In fact, they want more of it.  More hours, a longer route, and especially access to the beach. 
Folks remember this bus from way back.  Diana, in fact, used to take it when she was a lifeguard at the 31st St. Beach.  Now, she says, “I wish it came on the weekends.  I wish it ran for the summer months, for the kids.”  The proposed route provides only weekday service and will likely run from September to February. 
Eva, who was visiting the weekly clothing and food pantry at the church, thinks the bus would be great for the economy of Bridgeportand beyond. ““I’m lucky, I live on 35th . . . , but sometimes I happen to be over here [because of] the park or the store. . . . The college kids would probably need it to go from the college to the store. Or to go to Midway [via the Orange Line].”
Eva and daughter Anjeli.
The bus might be more help to the community without its current proposed hours, however, which stretch from 10am to 7pm.  Linda, another Bridgeporter who remembers the old route, says, “I remember, a long time ago, they used to have it.  I used to catch it all the time. . . . When I was, like, 16, 17 years old.  I used to work for the Jewel on the corner here [of Halsted and 31st].”  But could today’s teenager working at Cermak produce or Walgreen’s fit a busy work/school schedule into these nine awkwardly timed hours of bus service?
But the really resounding desire, on this sticky day in July, is for an extended route that goes all the way to the 31st St. Beach.  All three women agree on the biggest failure of the route. Says Linda, “Summer, winter, sometimes people just want to go to the lake.  Instead of walking. . . . Some elderly people can’t drive, you know? . . . It’s hard for the elderly people.  It’s hard for them.  It would be nice for them to have a bus to ride.” 
But perhaps Linda sums it up best: “They should start thinking more within the community, what the people really need.”
Chicago Transit Authority, will you help Bridgeport get what it needs?

Want to get involved in the campaign for better public transportation in Bridgeport?  Here's what you can do:
  • Attend a Bridgeport Alliance general meeting on last Thursdays at 7pm at First Trinity's Community Hall.
  • Call 11th Ward Patrick Daley Thompson at (773) 254-667.
  • Or just e-mail Bridgeport Alliance at!

    Article by Theresa Rothschadl, photographs by Brendan Brown.