CTA #11 bus returns to Lincoln Avenue

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CHICAGO -- Buses began rolling again today on Lincoln Avenue along parts of the CTA #11 bus route where service was cut nearly four years ago.

It is only temporary, but the people behind the grassroots effort to get the bus service restored believe if they can get the word out that it's back, they can make it permanent.

Dozens of passengers boarded the #11 Lincoln Avenue bus today for the first time since service was cut. It is a welcome return for riders and those who own businesses in the area.

"The Lincoln Avenue bus is really a critical connection for our small businesses along Lincoln Avenue, and we'd just like to encourage North Siders to get on the bus and explore all that Lincoln Avenue has to offer," said Lee Crandall of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce.

The middle section of the Lincoln Avenue route was cut in late 2012 as part of the CTA's effort to be more efficient and push riders to the Brown Line. But it left no bus service between Western and Fullerton.

Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) saw the need and led the charge to have the service restored.

But it is only a temporary return. The CTA will try out the service for six months, weekdays only, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"We would like to see about an average of 1,500 additional weekday riders, which is certainly in line with what we had before when we had this extension of the route," said CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase. "And that would help in permanently restoring the service."

Activists have also won a temporary return for the 31st Street bus that was cut back in 1997. Its temporary return will debut in September.