Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On the subway

Lorraine wrote a nice piece, recently, that extolled the virtues of Chicago’s mass transit system. I’ll admit, we do have an effective and well-run transit system here. I know a lot of people complain about it, as they are wont to do, but try living in a large city that doesn’t have much of a transit system like Dallas or Houston. And then shut up.

I use the transit system a lot because I live downtown and don’t own a car. I did own a car when I first moved downtown, but it stayed in the parking garage all the time costing $200 a month. I didn’t drive it anywhere because parking in Chicago is, well, nonexistent. Also, it’s pretty frustrating to be sitting in gridlock traffic and watch the train go whizzing right by as the gleeful riders shoot you the finger. That happens a lot. So I gave up the car after a month and have never regretted it.

Yesterday, I was waiting for the subway and there was a guy with a unicycle standing next to me. Yes, a unicycle. When the train pulled up and the doors opened – bing bong – I opted to sit in the next car down. Maybe it’s me, but I just didn’t want to be riding next to a guy who rides a unicycle. My parents raised me right.
I must be an anti-unicyclite.

I ride the Red Line a lot which begins as a subway downtown and emerges into an “El” just north of downtown. When the train rises up from the bowels of downtown, it’s always pretty funny to see so many people whip out their cell phones. The moment there’s daylight, it’s all beep! boop! deedle-dee-dee! ding-dong.
What did we ever do without cell phones?

Another funny thing to see is the “subway scramble.” That’s when you’re heading down the long flight of stairs to the subway platform, the rumble of an approaching train can be heard and everyone starts hurdling down the stairs to catch the train, leaping and bounding. Oh my GOD! We might miss the train!

First of all, they have no idea if the train that’s coming is going to be the one they’re going to need. Most of the time, it's not. I just love it when they land on the platform, out of breath, and it's not their train. See? Such a fuss!

Second, there will be another train coming! During rush hour, they're practically back-to-back. It’s not like the CTA only has one of them.

What really bothers me is when someone is carrying a little kid and is running down the stairs. Very dangerous. Shame on them.

People are so silly.



At 7:51 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Hurray hurray for the CTA! But I would NEVER run on those scary stairs!


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