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A letter to CTA brass about wankers

I just sent this letter to CTA brass:

An open letter to CTA Chair Carole Brown and President Frank Kruesi:

Over the two years that I have published the CTA Tattler Web log, I have gotten numerous complaints from women CTA customers – including four separate complaints  from my own teenaged daughter – about men who have exposed themselves to these women.

The complaints are very similar in nature, and the women often provide a similar description of the perpetrator. Oftentimes the pervert is masturbating in full view of them. Other times he is “merely” exposing himself. Either way, it is degrading and disgusting, and of course illegal.

And now I want to know what the CTA is doing to stop it.

This weekend you may have read the New York Times story, reprinted in the Chicago Tribune, about the New York police recently targeting such offenders and making 13 arrests.

Read the story here:

On Thursday on my blog I published a detailed description of at least one “serial flasher”:

So now my readers and I want to know what the CTA is doing to stop this menace on trains and buses. Please tell me and I will publish your response on my blog.

Thank you.

Kevin O’Neil


Great letter, Kevin!

Although I have to say that I have heard from CTA Security via phone and they have been very nice and helpful, so I really have no complaints there. I just wish we didn't have to have people constantly watching out for the creepies on the train. If only people had self-control, this wouldn't have to be an issue. Oh, in a perfect world...

Interestingly enough, there was a post on Lifehacker today on a similar subject:

Fight crime with your camera phone

While a can of mace or mad karate skills are still great ideas, self-defense pundits are now saying that a quick pic with a camera phone might be your best defense against pervs flashing themselves in public.

Public humiliation seems to be the key. These guys don't want anyone to know what they're doing, and a picture does speak more than a thousand words...especially if posted on the inside wall of the subway or given to the police department. — Wendy Boswell

Say Cheese, You Sleaze! [New York Post via Business of Life]

...... I think security as a whole should be addressed and tighten. Although it is great that the CTA is hightening its awareness of terrorism on public transporation, there are other domestic issues that should not be overlooked. These wankers and flashers, shell gamers and the newspaper solicitors (I always see one on the Blue line to the city from FP around 8:30-8:45am) all could easily be caught if there was a greater presence of security on trains and platforms. Right now a lot of riders don't bother to tell CTA employees or security because they don't take action when something is report. By the time the rider finally tells customer service or writes a letter, the perp has gotten away and the CTA rider is just told to report it earlier. You'll see this pattern with the lack of timely response over and over again on this site. I'm pretty sure if the CTA did an audit of their customer service and security, they'll see its not the customer's fault for not reporting the crimes, it's their fault for not having a responsive security system in place.

What an interesting approach, Kevin. Do you suppose they'll respond with any kind of substance?

I wonder what they could do, really.

First, anyone who sees this immediately should inform an operator and fill out a police report. CPD has both uniformed cops and undercover ones scattered throughout the system--but if they don't see it, they can't know it's happening. I'd also call customer service too.

Then, if there seems to be one or two people who are the ones doing it regularly, then they need to get good descriptions, post wanted posters on CTA, have their cops informed, and have CTA agents on the lookout for them--especially if they have been able to narrow down where they might most often do this.

Hopefully CPD and CTA are on this, especially if there are repeat offenders. Random stuff though... I can't imagine there's a solution to any of these done by a one-timer.

The first step in the process is removing those useless securiats rentacops, who site in the booths watching tv, smoking, or just sleeping.

Dear Sir:

I have been riding your busses for better than six months, and have been becoming increasing frustrated by the service of the above mentioned line. I am totally at a loss as to why you have a bus that runs once every 15 minutes or so on one of the busiest thoroughfares in Chicago. It is simply ridiculous… the buses are over crowded ….the drivers and rude… I have had buses pull off and leave me while I was standing in front of them after running across the street to ask them to please stop. On those occasions… I simply ran across 79th street to catch it at the next stop… (luckily I can still do this). At which time your drivers tell me that they never saw me…. This is a blatant lie because I was standing in front of the bus looking at the driver when he pulled off, and the passengers on the bus alerted the driver that I was trying to catch the bus.

But today was the last straw was today… because of my schedule… I have to catch the bus at 0445 am… on three separate occasions within a two month period the bus never showed up…causing me to have to catch another bus going in the wrong direction, just to get to work on time. What happened today, the driver of the #28 bus never changed his sign… it read 103rd and Pulaski…. I simply thought the bus was not in service; however, as I watched the vehicle pass I noted that it was in fact the Stony Island Bus with the wrong sign.

It pains me to realize that your organization is the same one that postured for the past three months regarding fare hikes, closing lines, and all sorts of other dooms day scenarios… and you cant even number one… make your required stops… your drivers are less than courteous…and you don’t even have enough buses to service one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city.

I am copying this letter to an official at the department of transportation, as well as the local media In the hope that you people will at least become somewhat concerned over this issue. It is a shame it has come to this… where are the supervisors who are supposed to be policing the lines to make sure that these indiscretions do not continue to happen?


BenJamin M. Ransom
2613 W. 79th Street
Chicago, IL 60652
773 778 7771

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