Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pullman reborn & the story behind the Pullman-Walmart CTA Shuttle

In all the excitement over Whole Foods Market coming to Englewood by 2016, it breezed by me that Walmart is coming to the Pullman neighborhood today. In fact it's about of a surprised and unfortunately had little idea that by September the store would be open for business.

CBS 2 had recently done a story about how Pullman would be reborn with this Walmart. That's the video you see below:

Beyond that here are some updates on CTA bus services to the Pullman Walmart. I posted an e-mail sent from Ald. Beale last night and there is a story of sorts behind that.
Instead, a jubilant Beale announced at Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony that the CTA had done an about-face under apparent pressure from City Hall. No longer would CTA buses end more than five blocks away from the new Walmart at 109th and Doty Rd. A temporary shuttle, called the “111A Pullman Shuttle,” will fill in the gap until a permanent solution can be found.

“I want to thank CTA for providing bus service first thing tomorrow,” Beale, chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, said to the cheers of Walmart employees Tuesday.

Emanuel then took the podium at the revival-style ceremony and used trademark sarcasm to send a message to CTA President Forrest Claypool, who was not in attendance.

“This is a great day. Now, I would have been here a little earlier, but I got dropped off about five blocks (away) by CTA and I had to walk” the rest of the way, the mayor joked.

“Forrest ain’t here. Whatever. He’ll be here tomorrow to make sure that bus is here every 20 minutes. But, that’s actually a testament to Anthony [Beale] being clear and getting what he deserves and what is appropriate. You don’t build roads. You don’t build great stores like this so people get dropped off five, six blocks away. They’ve got to get in here.”

A CTA spokesman on Monday had said the CTA was talking to Beale about bus service, but would not be able to provide it for Wednesday’s opening. However, Beale said that after he went public with his broken promises charge on Monday, Claypool called him Tuesday; was “very, very apologetic,’’ and promised service.
Oh yeah there was some finger point on this although someone dropped the ball here:
Claypool refused to comment, but other CTA sources pointed fingers at the developer of the massive Pullman Park complex that houses the new Walmart for failing to give the transit agency the required 60 days’ notice in advance of the store opening.

“We were running as fast as we could, but we didn’t quite make it. The developer is the culprit,” a CTA source said.

“If we’d gotten the required notice, this would have been a piece of cake,” the source said. “Instead, we’ll start bus service [Wednesday] and work with the developer to get the information we should have gotten months ago about store traffic, how it’ll build over time and what the residential population is likely to be so we can develop a long-term plan that makes sense.”
Ald. Beale refers to this as a technicality given that CTA should have know for a long time when this Walmart was going to open and plans were being made and documents signed to bring direct CTA Bus Services here.

While this was a solution before the notice of the Route 111A according to the Tribune: "transit officials said they were working on a solution to extend the No. 106 East 103rd and No. 111 111th/King Drive routes"

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