"All aboard! All aboard! ALL ABOARD! Use all 16 doors!"

Now that's a Red Line motorman in a hurry to get his passengers where they need to go - and quickly.

"Passengers use all available doors - use all doors. There are 16 doors on this train - use them all!"

But if I did that, wouldn't that slow you down a lot? Yeah, I know I'm a smart ass.

And I know he's talking directly to me, as I bypass a door in car 4 and car 5 so I can enter and sit on the Red Line train right near the far door on car 5.

After all, it drops me right at the new escalator on the southbound platform and Grand and State.

Sorry if I made you 10 seconds late today.


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  • This goes back to the discussion about people lining up on the platform where they know a door will open, and I think you earlier said that you line up based on what door is nearer your exit.

    It is obvious that the train loads faster if passengers distribute themselves among the doors, as opposed to all saying that they are railfans and have to get in via the front one, to get the nonexistent view out the front.

    So, I suppose that I am with the conductor on this one.

  • Even when I don't have a particular reason to stick to my guns and try to enter a particular car, I've always found that phrase confusing. It was years after I had been a regular commuter (in another city) that I realized "use all available doors" really means, "If there's room in another car, get on that one instead of waiting." Maybe I'm the only one, but when you're already on the train and you watch people on the platform continue to linger at a congested door, while the motorman insistently repeats "use all available doors!", you begin to wonder if the words are getting through.

    I wish the CTA would put some thought into crafting directions that riders (including tourists) could understand more easily. Precise, clear writing like that is hard to do--and requires empathetic, user-centered research that I'm not hopeful they would do.

  • In reply to skipstop:

    I agree skipstop. The CTA really could use a better to say, "If there's room in another car, get on that one instead of waiting."

  • I think that that language would just encourage people to cross between cars, which is illegal but done anyway.

    Also, since there is only a motorman (I erred in saying conductor), he or she isn't going to know if one car is crowded or not. However, he or she is supposed to inspect the outside, so one would know if one bunch at the door is larger than the other.

  • Maybe a phrase something like "Passengers on the platform - for faster service please board at an uncrowded car" might work better.

    The meaning of "all available doors" might not translate for some people.

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