In Chicago, $20 Gets Seat on ‘Ghetto Bus Tour’ of Projects


The yellow school bus rumbles through vacant lots and past demolished buildings, full of people who have paid $20 for a tour of what was once among the most dangerous areas of this or any other city in the United States. But for the woman with the microphone, this “Ghetto Bus Tour” isn’t just another way to make a buck from tourists. It’s the last gasp in her crusade to tell a different story about Chicago’s notorious housing projects, something other than well-known tales about gang violence so fierce that residents slept in their bathtubs to avoid bullets, reports the Associated Press.

“I want you to see what I see,” says Beauty Turner, after leading the group off the bus to a weedy lot where the Robert Taylor Homes once stood. “To hear the voices of the voiceless.” Turner, a former Robert Taylor Homes resident, has been one of the most vocal critics of the Chicago Housing Authority’s $1.6 billion “Plan for Transformation,” which since the late 1990s has demolished 50 of the 53 public housing high-rises and replaced them with mixed-income housing. A Housing Authority spokesman insisted public housing is improving. “She is running out of bad things to show people,” he said.


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