After so much planning, I am finally an official Chicagoan. Last night, my partner and I spent our first night in our new Chicago apartment. With all the excitement of becoming a Big City Boy, I have to admit that the most obvious differences so far between living in the City and the Suburbs are the types of transportation available.
While being a Suburbanite, I relied mainly on Metra and my car. Trying to be environmentally friendly, and also to save time in traffic and money on gas, in the City, I am mainly using the CTA for everything.
In just a few trips, I have come up with the Top 10 main differences I have noticed between the CTA and Metra, so far.
#10 - Unlike Metra employees, CTA employees are not friendly. The employees of the CTA, not so much. Just yesterday, the driver on my bus told a passenger to "get the f**k off the bus or sit down".
#9 - People want to walk as little as possible. While on the Metra, you have stops every so-many miles, so you are used to walking a bit to your destination. On the CTA, you have stops every 100 feet or so. This causes people to wait until the bus is pretty much at their front door before they attempt to get off.
#8 - Though Metra doesn't have buses to have this issue, I have noticed that CTA people do not understand what "please exit from the back of the bus" means.
#7 - Every bus and train on the CTA has that one person that stands at the exit the entire trip without ever exiting. They also make very minimal effort to get out of your way if you are exiting.
#6 - People on the Metra read newspapers and news websites. People on the CTA watch porn on their phones.
#5 - Non-white people use public transportation. The Metra is all white, all the time, while the CTA has lots of diversity.
#4 - Do not expect change on the CTA for any reason. Fortunately, I now have a pass; however, the first few trips required me to use cash. No matter what size bill you have, they will not make change.
#3 - Carry-ons. Most people on the Metra just have themselves and maybe a shopping bag or two. On the CTA, you can take anything with you. In just a few trips, I have already seen a cat, a broom, buckets of used paint, a trash bag full of trash, an empty stroller that was not folded-in, and more.
#2 - Cleanliness! Though I use to say that the Metra needed to clean their cars more, I now understand that their leftover newspapers on the floor were nothing. CTA could use some serious help in learning to clean. I do not think I even want to know what all the stains are on the seats either.
#1 - Body Odor. People on the Metra are relatively clean. People on the CTA are not. I am a bit afraid of when the summer months come how my bus and train rides are going to smell.
As extra bonus, to make up for the bad smells on the CTA, this morning, I had a guy stand next to my seat that had so much body powder (I assume) on that his ass smelled like lavender. I know this, because he kept it stuck in my face for about 2 miles.
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