The public is asked to attend a press conference to support a coalition of senior groups as they challenge the CTA to provide much needed transportation to routes used predominantly by senior citizens.
The press conference is today, November 15, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in the front of the CTA headquarters—567 W. Lake Street in Chicago. Organizers from the Lugenia Burns Hope Center and the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community will share testimonies at the press conference, as well as what changes they would like CTA to make to specific services routes.
According to the organizers, over the last 3 years, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has ignored the demand for weekend services for the #39 Pershing and #24 Wentworth on weekends from Senior leaders with the Lugenia Burns Hope Center living in Wentworth Gardens, Armour Square, Minnie Riperton and Vivian Carter Apartments.
In 2015, CTA instated weekend services for the #39 Pershing route without notifying residents that the service was a part of a pilot program that would only run for 6 months. At the end of the program, CTA cut services to the #39, despite having more than 10 bus routes with lower ridership than reported for the #39. To date, CTA has refused to instate weekend services for the #24 Wentworth Bus—leaving residents along this route without transportation on weekends for over 20 years.
Seniors cite needing weekend services for various reasons. For many, getting to doctor’s appointments and picking up medications are a priority. Seniors also use these bus lines for traveling to shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants, churches, and other places of worship.
After testifying at the CTA Board Meeting October 2016, leaders with the campaign to instate weekend services for the #39 Pershing and #24 Wentworth bus routes organized a neighborhood meeting with staff members from the organization’s planning department. After failing to reach an agreement with residents, staff members agreed to reconvene in the new year. Since then, CTA has ignored all requests for the follow up meeting along with denying seniors entrance to public, open CTA board meetings in May 2017 and October 2017.
Today, Seniors, leaders with the Lugenia Burns Hope Center and the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community will demand entrance to the CTA Board Meeting, an update on ridership for and extension of #39 Pershing Weekend Services, and an agreement to initiate weekend services for the #24 Wentworth Bus Line.