Chicago – After 2 months of public comment and letters falling on deaf ears, a group of young women from Little Village broke through to CTA about the need for a 31st Street Bus. Organizers with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) and Young Activists Organizing as Today’s Leaders (YAOTL) were present at the August Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Board Meeting to show the need for a new bus route in their community.
Selene, a McKinley Park resident who works in Little Village spoke about her commute and the benefits of a 31st Street Bus. “I do not consider myself to be middle class, because I have to work 2 or more jobs. I ride a bike, because it is good for the environment,” she told the Board “But when my bike breaks, or the weather is very bad, it is very inconvenient.” She recounted having to make 2-3 time-consuming transfers by bus when a 31st Street bus could take her directly to her destination. “Right now, I’m pissed,” She told the Board.
During her speech, 4 YAOTL members stood from their seats to show their presence. After months of ignoring public comment and written letters from Alderman George Cardenas and Ricardo Munoz, Chairman Terry Petersen agreed to have staff meet with Ms. Gonzalez.
CTA staff agreed to meet with LVEJO, the aldermen and other community members to further discuss the funding issues around the route. For 2 years the CTA has claimed it cannot match the $1,067,000 Job Access Reverse Commute it received with assistance from LVEJO. The recession has cut into sales and gas tax revenues that fund transit agencies across the country.
LVEJO has been requesting to meet with CTA to prevent grant money from being lost and to identify where a required match could be found.