coronavirus

Controversy, Concerns Flare Over Photo of Packed CTA Train

A photo circulating on social media shows Chicago passengers sitting close to each other, unable to social distance.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The controversy over social distancing has hit the Chicago Transit Authority after a rider shared a photo showing a packed train.

Seth McKonly, who works at O'Hare International Airport and is considered to be an essential employee, took pictures on a CTA Blue Line train around 1:30 p.m. Monday on his way to work. He tweeted two photos, which show passengers sitting close to each other, not able to social distance.

In response to the tweet, a CTA representative wrote back to the rider on Twitter saying, "We appreciate you sharing this information, especially as we continue to make social distancing a priority. We're currently working with Rail Ops to look into this incident and are sorry to see this occurred."

McKonly said that when the train pulled up before he boarded, the CTA operator put her head out the window, saying no passengers were allowed on the first train.

When McKonly asked her why, “She said to protect myself from the virus, move to the back. I was like so you’re gonna make me go to that car with all the people on there. All the cars are packed. She said ‘either do that or take the next train,'" McKonly described.

CTA officials told NBC 5 the driver was not worried about herself. The agency said they closed the first car because someone had vomited in in earlier.

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