CHICAGO (CBS) — On any given weekday, CTA buses are boarded 870,000 times. We wondered about the stories and safety of passengers who rely on rides before daylight. CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory went to find out.
There are things that go bump in the night, and not many people are around to hear them. Hours before dawn, many Chicagoans are often the city’s eyes and ears as they watch for their bus.
Whether they’re going home after a late night of fun, or heading to or from work, riders say the bus is simply cheaper than hailing a taxi, hailing an Uber or Lyft, or owning a car; but what about the expense of safety?
Data indicate the Red Line station at 69th and the Dan Ryan, as well as stops near the Garfield stop on the Red Line.
“I pay attention to them to see what they’re doing. If they get too close, I tell them to back up,” David Lofton said.
Maritza Mendoza knows how to defend herself; she’s a concealed carry license holder.
Self defense saved a CTA rider last month near 103rd and Wallace. The woman shot and killed a 19-year-old man who pulled a gun on her and tried to rob her around 5:45 a.m. on Jan. 8.
Police officers keep bus riders at ease near the Belmont stop on the Red Line, the second highest hotspot for bus stop incidents.
“Usually there is a squad car sitting across the street,” Christian Gill said.
A cruiser also stood by near the Clark and Division stop on the Red Line, another hub for crime.
Assaults, sex abuse, and drug possession have been reported multiple times at these locations, day or night.
The CTA said serious crime is rare at bus stops. Less than two incidents for every million rides.
CTA officials are working to improve lighting at many bus stops. Once riders are on board, every bus has multiple cameras.