Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ald. Beale upset about lack of CTA services to new Pullman Walmart

If I recall correctly the 111 bus one terminated in the Pullman neighborhood before the changes last year that split that route into two. The 111 goes down 111th street after turning on Cottage Grove and the 115 goes down 111th street after turning down King Drive. Also noted by John Hilkevitch from the Tribune there's also the 106 bus that runs on East 103rd St. however the article failed to mention that it serves Olive-Harvey College & terminates at the bus garage at 103rd & Stony Island. Those are the only nearby routes to the Walmart that's expected to open near the Bishop Ford (or Calumet) Expressway on Wednesday - with a grand opening Today.

Now we're going to pull some info from the aforementioned Tribune article:
Calling it a matter of "transportation justice," Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, said CTA officials have violated an agreement signed in 2011 to provide bus service to the new Wal-Mart, at 10900 S. Doty Ave. in the Pullman Park neighborhood.

"When we first began planning for Wal-Mart, CTA was a part of the discussion and said when the store opens, they would provide bus service,'' said Beale, chairman of the City Council transportation committee.

CTA bus routes No. 106 East 103rd and No. 111 111th/King Drive currently stop at Cottage Grove Avenue, which is several blocks from the store that is part of a $135 million development.

Beale said he is outraged and he threatened to convene public hearings on the CTA bus routes if the situation is not rectified by the time the Wal-Mart opens this week.

The alderman said the retail developer built the site to accommodate buses with a bus turnaround and nearby sidewalks for commuters. He said CTA officials told him it would cost $680,000 a year to extend the two bus routes to the Wal-Mart. But Beale said the costs would be offset by the additional riders making trips to the store.
The Sun-Times has more:
Walmart workers have been walking 5 1/2 blocks from two bus stops to Walmart at 109th and Doty Road to prepare the store for opening, even though the developer spent $20 million on rebuilding Doty to create a natural turnaround for buses, Beale said.

Beale said he had reached the “boiling point’’ in his efforts to persuade the CTA to honor its commitments in a June 16, 2011 written agreement to extend bus service to Walmart.

“They’re reneging on their agreement,’’ said Beale, chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee.

Once the superstore opens to the public on Wednesday, Beale said, “who is going to carry their goods five blocks?’’ Plus, Walmart will be open until midnight, making such a walk “a safety issue,’’ Beale said.

CTA bus service will not be ready in time for Tuesday’s ceremonial ribbon cutting with Beale and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, nor by Wednesday’s opening to the general public, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase conceded Monday.
WGN did a story about this on their news programming as well

So the question is when will CTA be able to provide direct bus services to the Walmart. Perhaps they could talk Walmart into providing direct shuttle services to either bus stops or to 95th Street from the store. There's a Walmart store downtown and they operate shuttles through the area as well. They could do that until CTA is able to provide direct service to the shopping center.

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