On Thursday, May 5, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council held a community meeting at Casa Maravilla Senior Home Building to ask CTA to re-route and add a new bus stop in front of Alivio Medical Center. The bus remains at an intersection that is dangerous to cross. Seniors patients are most affected by the current bus stop location.
Current bus stop: Cermak Rd. and Morgan St.
Proposed re-route: Cermak #21 to turn on 21st St. and Morgan St.
Add bus shelter: In front of Alivio Medical Center: 966 W. 21st Street
“This is not a simple desire”, says Agustin Vega who is a resident of Casa Maravilla. “This is a real need.” Alderman Danny Solis (25th Ward) and Darrell Jefferson, President-Business Agent of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) came out to express their full support.
“I went to the president of the CTA” says Jefferson. “[Then] he sent it to the Planning Department. [But]…when things go to the Planning Department it gets buried.” I gave them the proposal…but ’till this date, we don’t know what happened.”
CTA General Manager of the Service Planning Division, Elsa Gutierrez, reported that the re-route would cost CTA $207, 202 and inconvenience up to 1, 000 CTA riders. “We’re going to take your feedback back to management”, she stated.
Carmen Velasquez, Executive Director of Alivio Medical Center retorts, “Don’t we count? Don’t we matter?” The crowd cheered in agreement. According to Ms. Velasquez, the next stop is a “protest at City Hall.”
“Adequate, well-planned public transportation means healthier individuals and healthier communities,” said Agustin Vega. “At a time of economic crisis, Chicagoans need public transportation more than ever to access health care and healthy food, as well as economic opportunity. Re-routing the No. 21 bus to ease patient access to the Alivio Medical Center would be a big step in the right direction.” Residents await a response from the CTA.
Alderman Solis, who has supported the re-route from the beginning stated, “It’s going to happen this year.”
For more information about this issue, please read: Transportation as part of a livable community.
Video from from Telemundo (in Spanish)