Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fight Trump Now

Election got you mad? Yeah, us too.  Our next meeting will feature a training on organizing tools that you can use to fight for progressive causes in the era of Trump (7-8:30m).  If you haven't made it to a meeting all year, this is the one to go to.  Bring your friends and neighbors. 

Election got you sad? Yeah, us too.  After the training, we'll have our annual party for a little holiday cheer (8:30).  It's a potluck...and there might even be a visit from Santa--he was really excited about the 31st St. bus!

Bridgeport Alliance: the grassroots groups that meets all your emotional needs. :)

General Meeting/Annual Holiday Party

First Lutheran Church of the Trinity Community Hall

643 W. 31st. St.

7pm-8:30 (meeting), 8:30-? (party)

All are welcome! Please spread the word.

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. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Press Release - Bridgeport, Chinatown Community Groups Continue to Push for 31st Street Bus, Address CTA Board

June 28, 7:30AM

Monday evening, Jun 27, members of Bridgeport Alliance and Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community met with 11th Ward Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson, requesting that he sign on to a letter addressed to Dorval Carter, president of the Chicago Transit Authority, and the CTA Board.

The letter [attached] expresses gratitude that the years of work community groups put into lobbying for the restored route paid off, but disappointment that the six month pilot route (first expected to be a 12 month pilot) is lacking in morning commute hours, evening access, and access to the beach, leaving stranded seniors, students, and other active and potentially active community members.  

Upon interview, emphasizing the need for a full bus route, Debbie Liu, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, noted “31st St has changed in the two decades since the original CTA bus #31 has been axed. The demographics of the neighborhoods have changed and more Asian Americans who often are first generation immigrants and may be low-income (and seniors!) have settled in the area. Additionally, there is a trend of people are choosing not to own cars, creating a need for good, reliable public transportation options. The current ‘approved’ bus route is inadequate and will not serve the morning rush hour, the late nights, the weekends and is falling short of our expectations as it does not go to Museum Campus nor Mercy Hospital. We have hopes that we can come to a consensus with elected officials and city agencies to create a bus route and schedule that works for everyone.”

Esau Chavez, an IIT student, noted “I need the 31st street bus route to be better serviced as a resident of the southwest side to better connect me with my university; and as a student to open up shopping and leisure opportunities along the 31st street corridor.”

Benjamin Huey, Bridgeport Alliance member, and Rev. Tom Gaulke, pastor at First Trinity Lutheran Church noted that with the current proposal, people can still not get to church, to meditation, to bible study, or to morning worship services, as the route will not begin until 10AM. 

Quade Gallagher, Co-Chair of Bridgeport Alliance along with Suzanne Goebel, expressed that "the bus is essential for folks looking to move around the neighborhood easily and safely, to get to work, to get to essential services and public amenities. Bridgeport Alliance has made this very clear to Alderman Thompson and we look forward to his continued to support of our campaign and our community."

State Representative elect, Theresa Mah, signed onto the letter earlier this week, and the group is hopeful the the Alderman will sign on this afternoon, after review. 

"I'm excited about working with the Alderman to ensure the needs of the community are met, and we get a bus that will get me and my neighbors to work, play, the beach, hospitals,” said Brian Cerullo, BA member, and Bridgeport resident and enthusiast. 

The group plans to mail the letter to President Carter and the CTA, and to deliver it person, with their officials, at the next board meeting, July 13, 10AM, 567 W. Lake St. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

June's General Meeting

Come one, come all. to BA's general meeting on Thursday, June 30, at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity (643 W 31st St.).  We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Were We Set Up to Fail?

There's controversy brewing over the newly proposed schedule of the pilot route for the 31st St. bus.  The weekday-only, non-rush hour schedule is not adequate to our community's needs.  Were we set up to fail by the Chicago Transit Authority?  The Chicago Reader takes on the question here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

General Meeting: Bring back our bus!

Confused by the 31st Street Bus hours?  Yeah, so are we.

Want to try to do something about it?  Us too.

Bridgeport Alliance is frustrated and disappointed that the new 31st Street Bus route will not live up to the expectations of our community. The Monday-Friday hours will not allow for those who need to get to work, do their shopping, or have leisure time on the weekends. The 10 am - 7pm schedule will not allow for many riders to use the bus to commute to work or school. The failure of the bus to go to the museum campus prevents children in our communities from learning opportunities that they deserve. 

The 31st Street bus pilot program’s rough target is 830 riders a day. We need to make sure that happens. 

Please join us at our general meeting on 5/26 (7 pm) to continue this discussion.  Our meetings are usually just over an hour, and have a strict, timed agenda.  All are welcome to attend the meeting and participate in the discussion.  We meet at the First Trinity Community Center, 643 W 31st Street.

Monday, March 28, 2016

General Meeting: March 31

This is no April Fools: BA's next meeting will be Thursday at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

General Meeting: February 25

It may be the depths of winter, but the grassroots are still alive.  If you want to feel the green, attend BA's general meeting on Thursday at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity (643 W 31st St.).  We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

General Meeting: January 28

Start the new year right: with social justice.  Attend BA's general meeting on Thursday at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity (643 W 31st St.).  We look forward to seeing you there!