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Video Shows Bug-Infested Bag On CTA Red Line Train

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Feb 21, 2017 3:54PM

Updated 11:00 a.m. The CTA is no stranger to bed bug scares, and thankfully, most of them are unfounded. We're crossing our fingers that that's the case in this latest report of bugs on the CTA, from ABC7: a passenger riding a northbound Red Line through the Loop on Friday videotaped a fellow passenger, who appeared to be carrying a bag swarming with bugs.

The bag was checkered with holes and the woman appeared to be homeless, the man, Michael Moore, told ABC. He reported the incident to the CTA train conductor, and the train was stopped, evacuated, and cleaned by CTA workers at the Jackson station.

On first glance, the bugs appear to look more like lice than bed bugs—a more common but still highly disturbing sight on CTA trains.

As the ABC7 report goes on to say, Moore believes the woman with the bug-infested bag transferred to another train after the train evacuation, spreading the bugs farther afield.

"Problem is that this lady gets off with her bag full of bed bugs, it has holes in the bottom of the bag, and then she gets onto another train," Moore told the station.

CTA spokesman Jeff Tolman told Chicagoist that the CTA immediately took the Red Line train in question out of service, but it's still unclear whether the bugs in the video are bed bugs. The full statement from the CTA reads:

When the CTA received a report of pests on a Red Line train on Friday, the rail car was immediately removed from service as a precautionary measure and received preventative treatment by an exterminator.

At this time, there is no confirmation that the pests depicted on the video are bed bugs.

While providing more than 700,000 rail rides each day, CTA takes reported incidents of uncleanliness, including those regarding pests, very seriously. We have a rigorous process to maintain cleanliness on our system and our bus and trains are cleaned daily, both before and after each trip, and at the end of each day.

Vehicles also receive thorough, deep cleanings on a regular basis that includes preventative treatment for pests.