Jan 31, 2024 - Transit

What's up with those triangular pee deterrents at CTA stations

Train platform with metal triangles in the corners.

Pee deterrents at the Addison Red Line stop. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Riders seem to be rediscovering perks and quirks of the CTA these days — from a recent viral video about chartering your own train to these triangular pee preventers.

Why it matters: The transit agency has long received complaints about urine in stations and on trains, and these features are one effort to stop that.

Yes, but: The CTA doesn't plan to add any more to stations, an agency spokesperson tells Axios.

Catch up fast: These urine deterrents were installed in 2012 as part of a small pilot program, the spokesperson says.

  • They're located at select Orange, Red and Brown Line stations, including Halsted, Addison, Harold Washington and Howard (where "urine was an issue").

How it works: Sand under the contraptions helps absorb the urine, and the protrusion from the wall helps prevent pee from building up in corners. CTA says these are common on European transit.

Zoom in: The city has faced backlash in the past for a lack of public restrooms, according to a 2021 Tribune investigation.

Of note: CTA did not respond to Axios' question about whether other anti-urination tactics are planned for buses and trains.


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