Today, I did a story about possible changes to the way the CTA cleans its buses. See the
In response, I got a letter from Lisa Layher, about an incident that happened just yesterday on the Clark bus. Her letter is below.
"Last night (before the, "Bus Slop" story broke), I complained to two bus drivers on the Clark 22 route about a man that had wet his pants (#1 & #2 to be exact) that was stinking up the bus to the point that people were coughing, gagging and spraying perfume to cover it up. It's not like it only smelled near him, it was the entire bus. The first driver pulled the bus over after I asked him to, then he called for help, but no one answered (not sure who called/if he really called). Then, he said, he'd look for a police officer as he continued to drive the bus. I refused to get back on the bus citing it a health hazard and quite frankly, all around disgusting. His response to me was, "He paid his fare and there is nothing I can do!"
I looked at bus tracker and knew that I'd only need to wait 12 minutes for another bus. In fresh air, no problem. In frigid temps, no problem.
But...I do not have the luck of the Irish...low and behold after boarding another 22 bus on Clark, just a few stops later the same man boarded the bus! Which means, the first driver did somehow manage to get this man off the bus, but only to leave him free to board another. Imagine my reaction. I went to the driver of the second bus and made the same complaint. She was actually very rude and told me that she will do nothing as "he paid his fare." I went to tell the rest of the bus what she'd said and everyone was shocked. So, they rode in stink to their destinations and I snapped a shot of him slumped over in his own feces and was hoping to file a complaint somewhere! I walked the rest of the way home, in complete disgust. But, I feel helpless...like I can't do anything about the fact that today, people will ride at least two buses that have seats contaminated with a grown man's feces, urine and overall bad smell from a lack of bathing. There is more...a woman riding inthe back of the bus told me as I was exiting that he'd been riding that same bus route for over a week in the same clothes/condition. So, that opens up another can of worms, clearly, he is not stable and really needs help. But, who is going to help this man? It's depressing, disgusting, disheartening and now it'll get even worse as there are going to be even less folks to clean the CTA buses!
Needless to day, I drove to work today. It'll cost me $26 vs. $4.50, but honestly, it's worth it!"