5/11/2005

Transit Tales

Honestly, traveling on the Chicago Transit Authority in the morning can be hilarious. Let's take this morning for instance.

Boarded a local #3 King Drive bus at my usual stop. It was an articulated bus, which means about 70 seats. The farebox was broken, which means free ride for everyone. Keep in mind it's raining, no one really wants to go to work and traffic is mildly affected. This has to be the slowest bus driver I have ever seen. It took 30 minutes to get from McCormick Place (2300 South) to Monroe and Michigan (100 South/100 East). Along the way the bus driver is literally ignoring the "Stop Request" signal, passing up people's bus stops. We get to 11th Street and an older lady pulls the cord. The bus driver slows down, prepares to stop, and then accelerates. The lady is pushing on the back door (which won't open) and yelling to the driver "open the door!! why won't you open the door?" The driver finally lets her off at 9th street.

While I'm on the subject of the driver, it makes no sense that this particular driver not only drove 15 miles an hour all the way downtown, but found it necessary to stop and talk to his supervisor for five minutes. In rush hour. On a major street. With angry passengers already late for work. This driver had a death wish.

Let's not forget the passengers that have no knowledge of how to deal with passengers trying to exit the bus. When you are forced to stand in the exit vestibule, and people are trying to use the exit door, common sense would dictate that the person either steps off the bus or gets out of the way. This caucasian man stood in the exit vestibule, and 7 people wanted to get off at Congress. This man DID NOT MOVE and expected everyone to GO AROUND HIM. Naturally, he got run over and literally pushed out of the way. Makes me feel as if I'm in New York.

Just think, the Chicago Trifling...oops, I mean Transit Authority is about to slash service by 30 percent and raise fares to unheard of levels.