After I finished writing my Tuesday story about sexual harassment on the CTA, it happened to me.
On Friday evening, I was waiting for a Green Line train at the Pulaski stop after spending the afternoon reporting in West Garfield Park.
By the time I got to the platform, I was already annoyed at the state of the station.
The west side turnstiles are exits, not entrances, and there is garbage strewn along the side of the walkway to the stationhouse. Police were talking to a man outside the station, and inside, a man was begging for change by the turnstiles.
So when the man walked over to me on the platform, I was in a testy mood.
He said, "I lost my phone number, can I have yours?"
I said no, rolled my eyes and moved down the platform. Short of a tweet about the incident, I didn't report it to the CTA. I didn't feel threatened—though his comment was definitely unwanted.
Harassment is considered unwanted behavior. But what is seen as harassment to some may not be to others.
I could have told the station customer service assistant or emailed my experience to the CTA. But I didn't. I'm not alone. Experts say sexual harassment committed on the streets and public transit largely goes unreported.
But perhaps if someone had spoken to the guy about his behavior, it would have prevented him from saying similar comments to other women. Or maybe that was the only time he said something like that because he thought he was being funny.
Only you know if you encounter unwanted behavior. If you experience sexual harassment on the CTA, or any harassment, I encourage you to speak up.
In case you've lost that phone number, it's 1-888-YOUR-CTA.
Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) is seeking feedback on the impact of the CTA's cut to the No. 11-Lincoln bus between the Western and Fullerton Brown Line stops as part of the CTA's 2012 program to decrowd buses and trains. The alderman's office said it has received nearly 1,000 responses to the survey, which is available at chicago47.org through August.
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note
This week: Wilson Red Line
It's been a long road for riders of the Wilson station, a dilapidated Uptown stop that dates back to the 1900s. Riders have long railed against the station's tough-to-traverse steps, urine smell, graffiti and general disgustingness, but three years ago, the CTA offered hope for change.
In November 2011, the CTA announced plans to rebuild the Wilson station and surrounding track.
In October 2012, CTA unveiled renderings for the station and sought feedback from riders. The $203 million project includes rebuilding the stationhouse, adding elevators to make the station accessible for riders with disabilities and creating a platform to transfer to the Purple Line Express. Demolition was supposed to begin in spring 2013, with construction continuing through 2015, a CTA press release said at the time.
In May 2013, the CTA sought bids for a general contractor for the project. Work was tenatively scheduled to begin later that year and continue through 2016, according to a CTA release.
In February, the CTA held a public hearing about the project's potential impact on the environment.
Last month, the CTA board approved a $153.6 million construction contract to Walsh/2-in-1 Joint Venture of Illinois.
Construction is expected to begin in the fall but there is no specific date yet, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. The station is expected to remain open during construction but no work timetable or reroutes have been announced.
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