Today is Opening Day for the Cubs, marking the first pitch of at least six months of even more overcrowded trains during the 30 Cubs weeknight games and approximately 45 more White Sox weeknight games. That's not to mention about 25 weekday games at Wrigley.
You might ask why I didn't make this post a week ago before the Sox home opener. Well, I don't have true empirical evidence of this, but my gut tells me more baseball fans take the trains and buses to Wrigley than to U.S. Cellular Field.
- There's way more parking around Sox Park, and it's located adjacent to the Dan Ryan Expressway.
- Boardings at Addison on the Red Line are almost double that of Sox-35th.
- Wrigley has a greater capacity and last year drew nearly a million more fans than the Cell.
Here's the official word from the CTA on how to get to Wrigley and Sox Park.
And here are my rules.
Tips for regular CTA commuters enjoying the ride with game-goers
- Have a sense of humor. Generally, these folks are just trying to have fun.
- Be tolerant. Baseball fans create revenue. If they have a pleasant experience, they are likely to come back. That's important to you as a taxpaying and fare-paying citizen.
- Corollary: Be polite and provide directions and help if asked.
- Act as if you're an ambassador for the city. Even if you're tired and just want to get home.
Tips for ballgame commuters (these always work well for "regular" commuters)
- Don't crowd around the doors.
- Spread out on the train platform. There are usually eight cars, and chances of boarding are better toward the front and rear of the platform.
- Move all the way to the rear of the bus.
- Keep your "carry-on bags" to a minimum.
- Do not drink alcohol on the CTA. It's against the law. And watch your language while you're at it.
- Know which direction you're headed, particularly if you've been drinking. It's OK to ask questions, but do that BEFORE you get on a train or bus.
- While it might be difficult to resist boasting and gloating about your team's victory, someone just coming home from work probably doesn't want to hear it.
- Don't hit on the women -- or men for that matter.
This list is certainly not all-inclusive. What have I missed?