Saturday, July 9, 2016

CTA: Will you help Bridgeport?


Diana.
 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.” 
Linda.
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 BridgeportAlliance@gmail.com!

    Article by Theresa Rothschadl, photographs by Brendan Brown. 

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