By Eric Cox

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s the mystery of the missing CTA bus bench.

It’s been gone for weeks. Some thought it was to prevent people from hanging out in the shelter, not waiting for a bus.

CBS 2 Eric Cox is in Chatham with the story.

It’s something thousands of Chicagoans do every day. But at at bus shelter near 79th and Cottage Grove, waiting for a ride isn’t what it used to be.

“I can’t sit down, it’s raining,” said regular rider Aurelius Porter. “I’ve been catching it for about six months, every day with my baby.”

His two-year-old daughter, Treasure, huddled up inside his coat as they try to endure the elements. They can’t sit because the South Side shelter has no bench, a real inconvenience for people like Porter.

“This one of the days my back is hurting, too,” said Anthony Tate, a disabled veteran who relies on the CTA.

The bench was removed earlier this month. Tate believed the move was made to discourage people from hanging out under the shelter.

“I catch the bus here almost every day and there’s still people, they stand here,” he said.

He’s right. The lack of seating hasn’t stopped loitering. The weekend after the bench was removed, people brought out their own chairs and sat inside the bus shelter.

CBS 2 reached out to Ald. Michelle Harris (8th.) She said she thought the CTA was behind the bench’s removal. The CTA tells CBS 2 they aren’t responsible, adding that the Chicago Department of Transportation is who CBS 2 need to talk to.

CBS 2 contacted C-DOT. It said it has no idea where the bench is, but plan to replace it.

Ald. Harris said police will be ticketing people caught loitering under the bus bench.

Eric Cox