LINCOLN SQUARE — Riders have one last day to get on board the No. 11 Lincoln bus — as of Friday, it will be gone. Again.
For supporters, it's a disappointing end to a saga that began in 2012, when the Chicago Transit Authority axed the Western-to-Fullerton leg of the route, having deemed the No. 11 duplicative of Brown Line rail service.
Constant lobbying — by residents, chambers of commerce, and Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) and Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) — for the return of the route paid off in 2016 when CTA announced it would revive the canceled leg on a trial basis.
Victory was fleeting, as ridership along the route never approached the target set by CTA to retain service.
A year into the trial, which was extended from its original six-month period, the transit agency announced it was pulling the plug on the No. 11.
For those in need of an alternate public transit route, CTA is recommending the Brown Line and a number of east-west and north-south bus routes that stop near Lincoln Avenue: No. 9 Ashland, No. X9 Ashland Express, No. 49 Western, No. X49 Western Express, No. 50 Damen, No. 74 Fullerton, No. 76 Diversey, No. 77 Belmont, No. 78 Montrose, No. 80 Irving Park, No. 81 Lawrence and No. 152 Addison.
A timeline of the No. 11 Lincoln:
How to save the No. 11 bus route? Supporters plan to show up at a CTA board meeting ... by the busload.
• December 2012 Supporters of No. 11 Lincoln Bus Pack CTA Meeting
Residents pleaded with CTA board to reconsider eliminating a key segment of the No. 11 Lincoln route.
Pawar is launching a survey and deploying street teams to build a case for the route's return.
• August 2014 'Bring Back No. 11 Bus' Survey Nets 1,500 Responses
The survey on the elimination of the No. 11 Lincoln bus is available online and in paper form.
The fight over the No. 11 bus continues as supporters aim to turn out in force for CTA's budget hearing.
• November 2014 No. 11 Bus Supporters Tell CTA Board 'We're Not Going Away'
Fans of the No. 11 Lincoln bus packed the CTA's annual budget hearing to rally for the route's return.
• November 2014 Lincoln Park Residents, Businesses Push for Return of No. 11 Bus
Two years after the bus route was chopped, residents and businesses continue to push for its return.
Pawar said they're out to bring back the No. 11 Lincoln bus and the 31st Street line.
• November 2015 The No. 11 Bus On Lincoln Avenue Is Coming Back, CTA Announces
CTA President Dorval Carter restored the No. 11 Lincoln bus on a pilot basis.
The No. 11 Lincoln Bus is set to start rolling again June 20, according to Pawar.
Lack of rush hour service has supporters saying routes are doomed to fail.
A six-month pilot return of the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue bus kicks off.
"For the Love of the #11" will hit three bars along the route, from Lincoln Square to Lincoln Park.
• November 2016 No. 11 Lincoln Bus Defended At CTA Budget Hearing
Bus supporter Allan Mellis calls the revived route and hours of operation "indequate."
It will cost about $385,000 to operate the extended route another six months, the CTA said.
• February 2017 No. 11 Bus Has A Valentine's Message For Riders: 'Be Mine'
A Valentine's campaign is asking riders to #lovethebus.
The year-long pilot for the No. 11 Lincoln bus has nearly reached its end.
Robynne Wallace has boarded the bus at all times, in all directions, gathering comments from riders.
The CTA extended the route's pilot through Sept. 1 while the transit agency debates the No. 11's future.
A pilot restoring service on the route did not attract enough riders and will end Sept. 1.