The Walmart Supercenter opening this week in the Pullman neighborhood will get bus service after all.
Beginning Wednesday, CTA buses will drop off right outside the new store, located at 10900 S. Doty Road, instead of a half-mile away at the next nearest stop. It was an issue that, as of this morning, wasn't resolved.
"You can build a store, but if you can't get to it, what good is it," Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) quipped during Tuesday afternoon's ribbon-cutting at the location, which will employ 400 full- and part-time workers.
Beale said he worked for more than a month to try and provide bus service for the store "to no avail." The closest CTA bus routes stop at Cottage Grove Avenue, Beale said, which is a far walk for workers and residents.
“When we first began planning for Walmart, CTA was a part of the discussion and said when the store opens, they would provide bus service," Beale said. "Now, they’re reneging on their agreement."
In a statement, the CTA said bus service is still part of the plan.
"The CTA is working actively with the developer and alderman and will implement service as soon as possible. It will be up and running in short order."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel confirmed the bus route would be extended, joking he was a little late because "I got dropped off about five blocks away on the CTA and had to walk the rest of the way."
Beale said in an earlier statement the CTA told him it would cost $680,000 to have routes #106 and #111 travel the extra blocks to turn around. Beale said he didn't believe that, saying the service surely will gain additional ridership.
Emanuel has called the new Pullman Park development "incredible for the community on neighborhood retail, big-box retail, residential development and community development." The state of Illinois announced in 2011 it would give Chicago a $4.6 million grant for the second phase of the project.
The Pullman Walmart was one of the first Super Walmarts approved in the city.