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A decommissioned CTA Flxible bus now works in fresh moves mobile produce market

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That's been true for almost two years now. I snapped a photo of that bus in the summer of 2011 and posted on this forum under earlier discussions regarding the bus.

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While any preservation is good, and having a Flxible preserved as a mobile grocery store beats a Flxible in the scrapyard, I do have to wonder about these sorts of civic ideas.

With the Circuitbreaker passes, how hard can it be to hop a bus to a grocery store? One could cite the effort in carrying home groceries, though with so many people using those 2 wheel hand carts, myself included at times, that it isn't too bad.

I find the idea of a "food oasis" a bit absurd. But that is a discussion for someplace other than a transit fan website.

Just wonder if this will be around in a few years, or if it only means a brief reuse of the bus before it joins its sister units in the Great Garage in the Sky.

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That's been true for almost two years now. I snapped a photo of that bus in the summer of 2011 and posted on this forum under earlier discussions regarding the bus.

5750 had posted in 2011 that he was driving that bus.

While any preservation is good, and having a Flxible preserved as a mobile grocery store beats a Flxible in the scrapyard, I do have to wonder about these sorts of civic ideas.

Apparently they are getting federal government grants for this. Personally I don't buy the food desert story, and I had pointed out that the video was like Eve getting Adam to eat the apple.

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I had forgotten about that. Just think, if Adam had not listened to Eve, us men would still have our paradise, while Eve would be outside. This is why men rarely, if ever listen to women. It is firmly engrained in our subconscious what happened to Adam when he listened to Eve! :lol:

Federal grant money for a bus to carry groceries to people too darned lazy to go to the store themselves. Not the worst example of waste, and at least there's an operating Flxible out of the deal.

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I had forgotten about that. Just think, if Adam had not listened to Eve, us men would still have our paradise, while Eve would be outside.

Not sure how Eve would be outside. However, I always wondered (and the question was raised in Sunday school) that if Adam and Eve only had Cain, Abel (dead) and Seth, how did begetting proceed from there?

...

Federal grant money for a bus to carry groceries to people too darned lazy to go to the store themselves. Not the worst example of waste, and at least there's an operating Flxible out of the deal.

My point to the food desert story was that it was more an issue of demand than supply, as exemplified by the boy's unwillingness to take the apple. There may not be as many produce markets on the south and west sides, but there isn't any shortage of fruiterias in the Hispanic neighborhoods (and I'm sure in Waukegan), and Greek and Korean ethnic produce markets elsewhere on the north side and beyond.

Since then Moo & Oink folded (supposedly due to lack of demand for heart attack food), and there are more Walmarts in the city. One also hears talk about people from the south side having to take CTA to get to the grocers around Roosevelt Road, but they aren't using the food bus.

And, I had previously made the comment that it was inefficient to use a bus that was getting maybe 3 mpg, but with the talk about federal grants being for frivolous stuff while the sequester hits elsewhere, stuff like this is what you get.

As far as the merits of the particular article, there was a Dominick's in North Lawndale (Roosevelt and Kedzie) that closed and reportedly was replaced by a junk food store. And while I don't know if what I buy is organic, I'm only willing to pay 50 cents each for a mango, not $1.50.

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I quit my position there at Fresh Moves several months ago, I wasant happy with it, even if I was driving a CTA Flx again, it just didnt feel the same.

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While any preservation is good, and having a Flxible preserved as a mobile grocery store beats a Flxible in the scrapyard, I do have to wonder about these sorts of civic ideas.

With the Circuitbreaker passes, how hard can it be to hop a bus to a grocery store? One could cite the effort in carrying home groceries, though with so many people using those 2 wheel hand carts, myself included at times, that it isn't too bad.

I find the idea of a "food oasis" a bit absurd. But that is a discussion for someplace other than a transit fan website.

Just wonder if this will be around in a few years, or if it only means a brief reuse of the bus before it joins its sister units in the Great Garage in the Sky.

It's not a matter of folks not wanting to make the effort to go to a grocery store. It's the fact that for a lot of communities within the city limits the closest store is over two miles away. That's where the term food desert comes from. So turning a bus into a food oasis may be odd given a truck could be serve purpose, but it's not necessarily absurd given a transit bus's unique features that allow the people served to examine the offerings and keep moving without disrupting the flow of other people there. As for the whitewash that food deserts aren't real just because a kid didn't want to take an apple in a video, if the only options he knows are junk food options because his parents often times pick those options because from their point of view it's cheaper because what store they may have in the neighborhood charges obscene prices for produce or the parents are just kids themselves and therefore lack the maturity to think of the nutritional value of what they buy their kids, what makes anyone think that kid will want an apple over chips out candy? And I also knew of 5750's post. I mentioned my own as one example that this was old news.

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While any preservation is good, and having a Flxible preserved as a mobile grocery store beats a Flxible in the scrapyard, I do have to wonder about these sorts of civic ideas.

With the Circuitbreaker passes, how hard can it be to hop a bus to a grocery store? One could cite the effort in carrying home groceries, though with so many people using those 2 wheel hand carts, myself included at times, that it isn't too bad.

I find the idea of a "food oasis" a bit absurd. But that is a discussion for someplace other than a transit fan website.

Just wonder if this will be around in a few years, or if it only means a brief reuse of the bus before it joins its sister units in the Great Garage in the Sky.

Having lived many places in the Chicagoland area, Northwest Indiana, and in Minnesota, I can attest there is a "food desert" if you will. but I guess we have to define what that is. While there are some food stores in the lowest income areas of the south and west sides, the food sold at those establishments aren't the freshest AND not cheap. If you are single and alone, then maybe taking a shopping cart and riding a bus or two miles away to a grocery store may not be so bad. But if you are a single mother with two or more children, especially if they are small, that becomes a challenge (see stroller thread). Then there is a limit to how much food you can carry in those carts. Besides, Jewel and Dominick's are high priced. In Gary, there is a grocery store near downtown Gary around 9th and Broadway, but all of the major stores with fresh fruits and fresh meats are in Merrillville, Hobart, Hammond, IN. No Sterk's, no Strack n Van Til, no Jewel, no Ultra, no dominick's, no Wal-mart in the city of Gary.

West Side options: Costco and Jewel at Roosevelt and Ashland, Walmart and food 4 Less near North AVe and Cicero, Jewel on Madison and on Roosevelt (both in Oak Park), Walmart, Sam's Club and food 4 Less on S. Cicero south of 26th in Cicero.

South Sie Options: Jewel and Food 4 Less at 87th and Dan Ryan, Walmart on W 83rd, food 4 Less at 70th and Ashland, Food 4 Less at 47th & Damen. Other than the Food 4 Less on 70th, Englewood is without a viable grocery store. Roseland residents must travel to 115th and I-57 or Blue Island.

With the fares at CTA seemingly going up, that is an expensive option. Though the best option is a $100 monthly pass, that's a big bite out of a fixed income budget., even though you spend more buying 4 7-Day passes. Upper income people have the best readily available to them. As much as an Englewood community could use a Whole foods store, you will never see one there for the same reason you don't see Dominick's, its expensive.

As for the mobile bus, it is an original idea, and I like that fact that someone is trying to get fresh fruits and veggies available to those communities, but lack of promotion and limited access to that bus may cause its doom in the future. For the price of one orange, one can buy 4 small bags of flamin hots chips. Those aren't even priced that low in Jewel's, why are they so cheap in these low income neighborhood stores?

In Gary, an African-American man tried to open a full service, Jewel like grocery store near 23rd & Grant in the mid 2000s. He actually did open it, but it didn' stay open long because distributors wouldn't give him any breaks on wholesale pricing, thus his prices were higher than Ultra's etc. Those with cars opted to drive to Merrilville, Hammond, or Hobart to shop rather than pay high prices. .

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In Ultra's case, the competitior's problem there is it is owned by the distributor (Centrella). Of course, until last Thursday, Jewel was also owned by the distributor (SuperValu), which also distributes to Target and independent grocers, such as Produce World.

Not all ethnic grocers are successful (take for instance the Koreans from Washington DC who took over some Cub Foods, sold garbage, and were out of business in less than a year), but someone show me a food desert in an Hispanic neighborhood.

In some areas (including South Chicago) where Dominick's pulled out, Pete's Fresh Market is doing o.k. in the former Dominick's locations. Then there were the stories that when they were trying to build at Western and Madison, the neighborhood extortionists were trying to shut the construction down.

Since you bring up Gary, another problem is that it has lost more than half its population since when I lived near there (2010 official census figure 80,000). Hammond now is 80,000, compared to about 110,000 then, and in fact slightly bigger than Gary. From what redistricting indicates, the south side of Chicago has lost similar amounts of population. You can't maintain viable businesses under those type of conditions.

I ran into someone the other day who said he knew the Wise family of Wiseway. I said I knew some of them at one time too (but didn't mention that that was when they were caught cheating on food stamps). Anyway, that business is out Valpo way now (and owned by Centrella through Strack & Van Til).

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In Ultra's case, the competitior's problem there is it is owned by the distributor (Centrella). Of course, until last Thursday, Jewel was also owned by the distributor (SuperValu), which also distributes to Target and independent grocers, such as Produce World.

Not all ethnic grocers are successful (take for instance the Koreans from Washington DC who took over some Cub Foods, sold garbage, and were out of business in less than a year), but someone show me a food desert in an Hispanic neighborhood.

In some areas (including South Chicago) where Dominick's pulled out, Pete's Fresh Market is doing o.k. in the former Dominick's locations. Then there were the stories that when they were trying to build at Western and Madison, the neighborhood extortionists were trying to shut the construction down.

Since you bring up Gary, another problem is that it has lost more than half its population since when I lived near there (2010 official census figure 80,000). Hammond now is 80,000, compared to about 110,000 then, and in fact slightly bigger than Gary. From what redistricting indicates, the south side of Chicago has lost similar amounts of population. You can't maintain viable businesses under those type of conditions.

I ran into someone the other day who said he knew the Wise family of Wiseway. I said I knew some of them at one time too (but didn't mention that that was when they were caught cheating on food stamps). Anyway, that business is out Valpo way now (and owned by Centrella through Strack & Van Til).

I can't show you a "food desert' in a Hispanic neighborhood. Since we are going here, most of the stores in Hispanic neighborhoods are OWNED by Hispanics. How they get their wares, I don't know. Cermak foods seem to be popping up a lot, especially in Hispanic neighborhoods, even out as far as Aurora. On the other hand, most establishments in the African-American neighborhoods are NOT OWNED by African Americans. Neighborhood grocers and liquor stores and gas stations (Arabs), cleaners, beauty supply stores (Asian), 7-Eleven, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and the list goes on, not owned by AAs. Very few restaurants in AA neighborhoods are owned by AAs. And that's not just a Chicago or Gary or Minneapolis thing, this is a nationwide trend. At least Chcago and Minneapolis have ample public transportaion to get people around

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On the other hand, most establishments in the African-American neighborhoods are NOT OWNED by African Americans. Neighborhood grocers and liquor stores and gas stations (Arabs), cleaners, beauty supply stores (Asian), 7-Eleven, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and the list goes on, not owned by AAs. Very few restaurants in AA neighborhoods are owned by AAs. And that's not just a Chicago or Gary or Minneapolis thing, this is a nationwide trend. At least Chcago and Minneapolis have ample public transportaion to get people around

That's always been the case, but one would have to get a reason for the apparent lack of entrepreneurs in the African American community compared to the Hispanic, Greek, Korean, or even Polish community.

Basically, the Jewish business people were forced out of Lawndale in the 1968 riots, and some of them told me they told the extortionists "you can have the business" and left. So, somewhat ironically, they are replaced by Arab Americans.

In the meantime, those like Bill Beavers took their patronage to Indiana. There was a reason why a Walmart was built at 111th Street in Hammond, and it was not to serve the burgeoning population in Roby.

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I can't show you a "food desert' in a Hispanic neighborhood. Since we are going here, most of the stores in Hispanic neighborhoods are OWNED by Hispanics. How they get their wares, I don't know. Cermak foods seem to be popping up a lot, especially in Hispanic neighborhoods, even out as far as Aurora. On the other hand, most establishments in the African-American neighborhoods are NOT OWNED by African Americans. Neighborhood grocers and liquor stores and gas stations (Arabs), cleaners, beauty supply stores (Asian), 7-Eleven, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and the list goes on, not owned by AAs. Very few restaurants in AA neighborhoods are owned by AAs. And that's not just a Chicago or Gary or Minneapolis thing, this is a nationwide trend. At least Chcago and Minneapolis have ample public transportaion to get people around

Well I can tell you the Cermak Produce and Pete's Market stores were supplied in part by Jewel's former owner SuperValu. That's why you could go to either and find Super Chill pop for instance or HomeLife tissue and paper towels (currently labeled Everyday Essential or something to that effect) when those are considered store brand at JJewel. And mysteriously SuperValu was left scratching its head at why Jewel and its other stores in other metro areas took a big hit in sales under their stewardship when its no mystery given part of what I laid out above.

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Well I can tell you the Cermak Produce and Pete's Market stores were supplied in part by Jewel's former owner SuperValu. That's why you could go to either and find Super Chill pop for instance or HomeLife tissue and paper towels (currently labeled Everyday Essential or something to that effect) when those are considered store brand at JJewel. And mysteriously SuperValu was left scratching its head at why Jewel and its other stores in other metro areas took a big hit in sales under their stewardship when its no mystery given part of what I laid out above.

I had noted that with regard to Produce World.

But probably more interesting is where the independent operators get their produce. I've seen ads from ethnic grocers such as "we're down at the South Water Market daily" and the like. While the produce I see at the big Greek and Korean owned markets isn't that different, obviously they and the Hispanics have another source for the authentic products, such as the mangoes.

And, most notably, the ethnic grocers stress their fresh produce, although the Mexican ones more their meat (carnicerias).

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Looks like the "Fresh Moves" Bus caught on outside of Chicago. A group of Community Organizations joined with Memphis Area Transit Authority to convert a retired 1998 NOVA LFS into a Fresh Moves Bus similar to the 1994 Flxible Metro still serving Chicago. They dubbed their bus "The Green Machine".

Photo Copyright to NOVA Bus Facebook

post-10-0-35761900-1371878694_thumb.jpg

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That's always been the case, but one would have to get a reason for the apparent lack of entrepreneurs in the African American community compared to the Hispanic, Greek, Korean, or even Polish community.

Basically, the Jewish business people were forced out of Lawndale in the 1968 riots, and some of them told me they told the extortionists "you can have the business" and left. So, somewhat ironically, they are replaced by Arab Americans.

In the meantime, those like Bill Beavers took their patronage to Indiana. There was a reason why a Walmart was built at 111th Street in Hammond, and it was not to serve the burgeoning population in Roby.

That was a smart of a location as any business in Chicagoland to put that Walmart a couple blocks away from the Chicago City Limits. Big difference between paying a 7 percent sales tax in Hammond compared to 9.5 percent in the city (especially for big ticket items).

FWIW, the nearest CTA buses are the 30, stopping at 112th and Ewing, and the weekday peak-hour only 100, stopping at 112th and Ave B near the Forest Preserve.

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That was a smart of a location as any business in Chicagoland to put that Walmart a couple blocks away from the Chicago City Limits. Big difference between paying a 7 percent sales tax in Hammond compared to 9.5 percent in the city (especially for big ticket items).

FWIW, the nearest CTA buses are the 30, stopping at 112th and Ewing, and the weekday peak-hour only 100, stopping at 112th and Ave B near the Forest Preserve.

You would actually have to get off the 100 at 108th and Ave B, because, other than Indianapolis Blvd, that is the closest place where you can actually cross the state line into Indiana in the city. The only other place in the city where you can cross directily into Indiana would be 134th St.

Thus Wal-Mart's traffic is truly automobile traffic. Had the Hammond Transit or RTD still been in operation, a transfer at 106th & Ewing (from Chicago) could've gotten you to Wal-Mart. I remember when most of those gas stations along Indianapolis Blvd were small stations until Illinois started taxing people to death. The next thing I knew it was hard to get gas near the border because cars would be lined up out on the streets (all with Illinois plates) to buy gas, cigarettes, and Powerball tickets. Therefore, these stations had no choice but to rebuild much bigger stations.

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That was a smart of a location as any business in Chicagoland to put that Walmart a couple blocks away from the Chicago City Limits. Big difference between paying a 7 percent sales tax in Hammond compared to 9.5 percent in the city (especially for big ticket items).

...

The only reason it is there is that the left wing activists were fighting Walmart in the city just because they didn't like Walmart. Even Mayor Daley said at the time "why can Evergreen Park get the sales tax and not Chicago?" The City Council was even listening to those who said "Walmart has to negotiate with the union before they can even start building." Supposedly the one at North and Kostner was snuck in. There was also a proposal for a higher minimum wage at big box stores, until someone realized that would also affect Target.

However, city finances became so bad as the recession hit in 2008, that some deal was struck and 2 Walmarts were allowed at 83rd and Stewart and in Pullman. Also, there are now some neighborhood Walmarts, although again sometimes over community opposition.

And, with regard to art's point and my mention of the now convict Beavers, he obviously drove over the border, not just to get cheaper gas, but to gamble at the Horseshoe Casino.

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Tribune says that the federal money for Fresh Moves has run out.

I don't think that even Dominick's could make it losing 72% on operations. The article talks about their cost structure, but doesn't mention the real cost item I did before--by running an obsolete bus, they were paying $4/gallon for diesel to get 3 mpg. A real Good Humor truck would have been economical.

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Tribune says that the federal money for Fresh Moves has run out.

I don't think that even Dominick's could make it losing 72% on operations. The article talks about their cost structure, but doesn't mention the real cost item I did before--by running an obsolete bus, they were paying $4/gallon for diesel to get 3 mpg. A real Good Humor truck would have been economical.

I agree.There is way too much overhead to make it a success.

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Im not surprised to hear this. I knew "Fresh Moves" wouldn't last. It was a good idea but it wasant an idea that would last long. Those buses could be for sale. Who knows!!! :)

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The right place:

I saw #903 with signage operating as a #60. Problem is, I saw it at 79th and Kedzie, and later at 77th Garage/South Shops, along with an old Optima bus and 3 Fresh Fruit buses (all ex-6000s Flxibles).

Yeah. I think one looked liked it was about to be scrapped or something.

As noted above, and in the cited Tribune article, Fresh Moves lost its federal funding, and couldn't come close to breaking even. Since the article says that CTA sold the 3 buses for $1 each, this seems like another instance of CTA taking someone else's property off their hands for its own junk pile.

Also CTA5750 documented about here about the origin of Fresh Moves and that he was a driver for them. At the time I had commented that I didn't see how one can operate it economically with old buses that get maybe 3 mph on diesel.

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