I had been collecting photos of dirty CTA "L" train cars over the last couple of weeks before the Chicago Tribune posted its story on dirty rail cars. I chalked it up to the extreme cold for the lack of maintenance.
All the photos here were taken on the Red Line after I boarded going south at Morse, which is just two stops from the Howard terminal. After all, all train cars are supposed to be cleaned before they leave the yard. from the Tribune report:
Cleaning crews assigned to the platforms at the end of each route pick up trash and, if necessary, mop up spills between the end of each run and the start of another, CTA officials said, adding that a special cleaning is ordered if hazardous waste is found.
More thorough cleanings are done overnight and during "deep cleans," which occur every 16 days on average, according to the transit agency. In a general cleaning, for example, workers sweep and mop the floors; clean seats, windows and stainless steel surfaces; and remove graffiti, officials said.
But if that were the case, I wouldn't have found jalapeno peppers on the floor of one car.
A CTA spokesperson did point to the cold in noting that more homeless people have been riding the Red and Blue lines all night rather than stay out in the numbing cold.
Ultimately, it's up to all of not to use the CTA as our own personal trash can.
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