Transit expertise

blue-lineVancouver’s re: Place magazine has a piece on “Becoming an expert transit rider” that reminds me of an internal conflict I have when I see folks on the train platform with luggage.

My efficiency way of thinking wants to tell those waiting for the northbound/O’Hare Blue Line near where the rear of the train will stop to walk toward where the front of the train will stop, because when they exit at O’Hare they will have to walk to the front of the train anyway.

This conflicts with the voice in my head that tells me it’s none of my business, maybe there’s another reason they’re standing where they’re standing, etc.

I resolve the conflict by making the suggestion to solo travelers or those I overhear wondering if they’ll make their plane. Otherwise, I say nothing.

For example, last week I was downtown at a conference headed back to Logan Square.  On the northbound/O’Hare train, I want to be in the last car so that when I exit at Logan Square I’m closest to the Kedzie exit.   Standing near me were three businessmen with luggage, who I assumed were headed to O’Hare.  But they seemed to be enjoying an easy bantering with each other, and it’s possible they had come from Midway and the Orange Line and were transferring to get to a meeting I don’t know where, so I didn’t say anything.

Whether you have similar internal conflicts or not, what transit expertise can you share with Logan Square (or Western, California, Belmont) Blue Line riders or #56 Milwaukee or #76 Diversey (or other Logan Square bus routes) bus riders?  How to get a seat during rush hour?  How to identify your bus from afar? Please leave a comment with any tips and tricks.


Blue Line photo by reallyboring on Flickr.

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2 Responses to Transit expertise

  1. I ended up unexpectedly flying back to DC instead of driving (on the way back I was going to make some client calls with one of the people I do consulting with but he had a death in the family and that changed things). Since we drove, I had picked up lots of materials (I am a fiend at visitor centers, picking up a variety of brochures, as part of how I evaluate tourism initiatives), which I figured would be put in the car instead of me having to lug in overheavy bags (without wheels) through subways and elevated trains and the _loooooooooooooooooooong_ distance from the train station at Midway to the terminal.

    Why don’t they rent luggage carts outside of area of the subway, as you begin entering the walkways to the departure check in aeras of the Midway airport?

    P.S. I frequently explain to people how to use the farecard machines in DC. And I pick up discarded newspapers and throw them into recycling bins…

    Richard: I don’t know why they don’t strategically place the luggage carts. I don’t think they do it at O’Hare either (it’s been a while since I’ve been there), but Midway’s is/or seems a much longer walk. I suspect it’s because the carts are provided by a private vendor who doesn’t see the value of placing them near the “el,” but you’d also think the city, which owns the airports, would do well to require it as part of the contract as it would enhance the visitor experience/leave folks on a good note (except for dealing with the other aspects of flying of course). ~ Lynn

  2. Lance Ross says:

    A Great trick for people getting on the blue Line at clark and lake and getting off at California.

    If you wait in the middle of the platform of clark and lake near the silver mini office and the ohare flight info monitors and get on the train car that stops in front of that area. When the train car stops at california it lets you off right at the stairs.

    Lance: Good to know. California is not my usual stop, but this could come in handy when I need to stop there to visit the post office. ~ Lynn

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