The activists who relentlessly urged the CTA to bring back the 31st Street bus were happy to see the signs pop up Thursday morning — a small victory in a five-year fight to reinstate the route.
"We worked for years on this, bringing lack of transportation as an issue to the elected officials in and along the route," said Tom Gaulke, pastor at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity and member of the Bridgeport Alliance. "It's good to see some better access for our seniors, our school kids, our community members come to fruition."
During a six-month pilot program, the No. 31 bus will run every 30 minutes from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. between Ashland and King Drive.
"It's good to have a win for fair transit in our neighborhoods," Gaulke said.
The CTA plans to monitor ridership. If enough people ride the buses, the CTA will restore the routes permanently. The target is 830 rides per day.
In 2012, the CTA restored part of the route as part of a six-month test program and extension of the No. 35 bus to 31st Street west of Kedzie Avenue to Cicero Avenue in Little Village.
During the first four months of the test, the CTA said, ridership was up — with an average of 570 rides on weekdays, 386 on Saturdays and 271 on Sundays — but the numbers were still short of its projections.
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