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by Ashlee Rezin
Wed Oct 9, 2013

CTA Study Reveals Ridership Does Not Justify Implementing A Full 31st Street Bus Route (VIDEO)

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) board voted Wednesday to make the No. 35 bus route’s expansion to West 31st Street permanent, but an agency study revealed potential ridership does not justify funding a 31st Street bus route that travels east of Kedzie Avenue.

The original 31st Street bus route, which ran from Cicero Avenue to the lakefront and cut through South Side neighborhoods such as McKinley Park, Armour Square, Bridgeport and Bronzeville, was discontinued in 1997 due to low ridership.

Since then, South Side activists, many of whom packed the agency’s board meeting Wednesday to hear the results of the year-long feasibility study, claim people in their communities have been held captive in a public transportation desert.

“For us today, the results that were presented are disappointing and infuriating,” said Rev. Tom Gaulke, pastor at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity and vice-chair of the Bridgeport Alliance, in a presentation before the board. “The conductors of the study don’t seem to understand the real situation and our real need. They must not have looked very closely at the needs of our community.”