News CTA

Record cold brings reports of feces on CTA

Jen Sanders of Andersonville said she boarded the Red Line at the Argyle stop in Uptown on Friday morning and hurried off at the next stop, Lawrence, to change rail cars. The rail car reeked of feces, she said.

The "conductor made [an] announcement at Wilson or Sheridan that there must be a foul odor in a car, as many were switching cars and he saw us," Sanders, 39, told RedEye. Sanders said in the 14 years she's lived in Chicago, she's switched train cars twice because of feces.

Spotting feces on the train appears to be more of a regular occurrence lately. The jump in these incidents is a direct result of the recent record cold, when an increased number of homeless people used the round-the-clock nature of CTA service to seek shelter, agency spokesman Brian Steele said.

As a result, the CTA has increased nightly patrols with social service agencies to provide homeless people other options during unusually cold periods, Steele said. The Red and Blue lines are the only routes that run 24 hours a day.

"Our security staff, and experts from social service agencies, are working in teams to encourage homeless to take advantage of shelters and social services," Steele told RedEye.

Last week, the CTA hired 15 new rail car servicers, which brings the pool of servicers to more than 130 workers.

When a train reaches the end of the line, CTA staff walk through and clean cars before they leave on their next run. These incidents of feces are happening mid-route between the time a train leaves a terminal and arrives at the end of the line, Steele said.

If a rider spots an unsanitary condition, he or she is encouraged to inform a train operator. A rail car can be isolated from passenger use during its run and properly cleaned before returning to service, Steele said.

"As lower-than-normal temperatures abate, we expect the issue to subside, but we're going to continue our vigilance to ensure cleanliness," Steele said in an email.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.

Comments
Loading