I was on my way to a birthday party in Pilsen late Saturday afternoon on the #49 Western bus. We were slowly pulling in to the Western Blue Line station. A moment before we came to a stop, I saw a young man appear at the door and “throw” himself at the bus – or maybe the right side view mirror. Then he crumpled to the sidewalk out of view.
The bus driver immediately exclaimed, “Hey! You saw that. He’s playing with me.”
She opened the door to reveal the guy sprawled on the sidewalk by the door, his head toward the gutter. “You know there are cameras on this bus; they see everything,” she warned him.
It was pretty obvious to those of us on the bus who witnessed it that this guy was trying to scam a cash settlement from the CTA.
The guy didn’t move. A passenger came up front and asked him if he needed help. I didn’t hear any reply, but the passenger called 911.
Meanwhile, the bus driver was calling her supervisor. I noticed on Bus Tracker that another Western bus was just one minute behind us. So I asked the driver to open the back door and we boarded the arriving bus with the other delayed passengers. I don’t know what the final result was. We all talked about it on the second bus, and agreed the guy was trying to scam the CTA.
And it makes me wonder how often people try to scam the CTA to get some sort of settlement like this.