LINCOLN SQUARE — The comeback kid is ready to roll.
Axed in 2012, the Western-to-Fullerton leg of the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue Bus would be back in action as of June 20 under an agreement likely to be approved Wednesday by the Chicago Transit Authority board.
Hours of service would be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, according to Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th).
The six-month pilot return of the bus route, as outlined above, is up for a board vote Wednesday.
CTA President Dorval Carter announced the pilot in November 2015, and the transit agency has been hashing out the details of the route's return over the past several months.
The pilot doesn't mean the route is back for good, Carter stressed last fall.
"They believe there is tremendous demand," he said of the route's supporters. "What I'm really doing is saying, 'Let's see if that's true.' The community continued to make the case. Let them prove it."
In eliminating the Western-to-Fullerton leg, CTA said the bus route was "redundant" with Brown Line rail service, a claim No. 11 advocates disputed. At board meeting after board meeting, residents clad in bright yellow "Save #11 Bus" T-shirts argued their case.
"I'm pleased President Carter responded to the community's dogged advocacy," Pawar said. "It gives me hope, as a constituent and a public official, they actually listened. Our government can hear people."
The challenge now will be to channel advocates' energy into ridership.
"My job is to make sure people use it, and use it often," Pawar said.
He plans to put together a task force of senior citizens, business owners and community leaders to not only spread the word about the bus route's return but to build a sustained ridership effort.
The campaign to bring back the bus is only halfway to its goal, he said.
"We need to work just as hard to keep it," Pawar said.
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