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CTA bus drivers say portable toilets are ‘degrading’ and ‘unsafe’

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CHICAGO -- Union leaders are accusing the Chicago Transit Authority of disrespecting hard-working drivers by providing unclean and unsafe bathrooms, saying on some of the routes the only option for drivers is an unheated port-a-let.

"Many of these portable bathrooms are unsanitary and the majority are in unsafe neighborhoods," said union leader Tommy Sams.

Union officials say the port-a-lets are often placed on street corners where they're vulnerable to oncoming traffic or even criminals, and some drivers suffer negative health effects from lack of restroom access while others have resorted to wearing disposable diapers.

Union officials add the majority of bus drivers in Chicago are women, and they feel unsafe using the facilities.

CTA bus drivers rallied Wednesday to demand access to cleaner and safer bathrooms. Community leaders have joined the protest to demand better treatment for drivers.

In a statement, the CTA said that building permanent restroom facilities is a logistic and financial challenge with ever-changing bus routes, so they're concentrating on upgrading the portable facilities.