Thursday, January 28, 2010

The CTA is gonna change in a week...

And here's how I feel about it:

A typical morning starts with my 7am trip to the bus, and then connecting to the Brown Line about a half an hour later. I just have to mention this: I absolutely love the driver; I want to put her on my Christmas card list. She is quite possibly the nicest, most considerate CTA worker I’ve ever seen, and at 7 in the morning, too! I’m worried I won’t get to ride her bus anymore after the route schedule changes.  Sorry for sounding so sappy, but you CTA riders know how rare a find this is!

I am actually concerned about is the cattle car/sardine can situation on the L. Unfortunately, everyone in Chicago seems to start work at the same time. Equally as unfortunate, everyone seems to end work at the same time. I feel like we are already a lot like cattle going through the turnstiles…and then sardines being packed into the L.

The other day it actually did work to my benefit: it was a particularly bumpy ride that day, but elbow room was so tight I didn’t lose my balance at all! I suppose it’s all in your perspective. 

Really though, if it is already packed during those times, less frequent service is only going to make it more frustrating.  I don’t want to see riders being edgy and frustrated and then the workers in turn being edgy and frustrated, crowded transportation is stressful enough.

The buses are already crowded. A perfect example: the other day I was carrying a bag of groceries and a gallon of milk. The bus was definitely at capacity and so crowded that I felt extremely inconsiderate for trying to get home with my extra baggage. I had no choice other than to brave the crowded bus or wait another 20 minutes in the 11 degree weather. I boarded, and offered sympathetic looks and sincere apologies to those I bumped in the face with the gallon of milk. (Really, truly, I am still sorry).

It will be interesting to see how things change in the coming weeks. I am one of the few who actually enjoys taking public transportation (so many strange things happen on the CTA that you can’t make these stories up!) I’m assuming I will have to leave my house earlier, wait for an emptier Brown Line car, and run to my office to make it by 8am on the dot, or will have to switch routes all together. I really don’t want to leave my house before 7. It’s cold. And dark. And early. Please don't fail me now, CTA

(This post can also be found later today at )

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