CHICAGO (CBS) — Your tax dollars pay for it. A white van with a City Colleges of Chicago sign waits outside the Sox-35th station on the Red Line every day, but few people use it, and it doesn’t go very far when it does move.
So what’s going on? CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker went to find out, and got results.
In warm weather and cold, for months the white van has been sitting outside the Red Line station at 35th Street, with the engine running. It doesn’t move much or carry many people.
The van waits outside the Sox-35th stop on the Red Line to take a few people to Dawson Technical Institute, a 15-minute walk away at State and Pershing.
The driver said he couldn’t answer why the passengers need a personal escort for such a short trip.
“You’re talking to the wrong person,” he said.
The van picks up very few passengers. CBS 2 watched day after day and saw lots of waiting but never more than one person got in the van at a time.
One man who was almost a passenger decided to take a CTA bus after he declined to say why he gets a personal escort.
Getting to Dawson Technical Institute is easy on public transportation.
Located at State and Pershing, it’s less than a mile from the Sox-35th station on the Red Line and the 35th Street/’Lou’ Jones station on Metra’s Rock Island line.
A Green Line stop is less than half a mile away, and another is just more than half a mile away. The CTA’s #29/State and #39/Pershing buses stop just feet from Dawson.
So why is a special shuttle needed?
“Does it make sense to me? It doesn’t. You know what? I’m just doing my job,” the van’s driver said.
A spokesperson for the City Colleges acknowledged the shuttle to Dawson has low ridership. As a result, the shuttle’s last run will be the day before spring break.
The shuttle began operating last summer and cost $17,000 to operate. It provided about 1,100 rides in that time, or more than $15 per ride of less than a mile.