CTA annoyances: Tell us the worst in quick poll

We all have our CTA pet peeves. What's yours? Take this quick poll and let us know why in comments.


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    Anything that reminds me that in order to ride public transit I have to rub shoulders with the poor, unwashed, and undesirables.

  • I almost voted for "standees," but then, I often stick by the doors, supposedly because other people do. So I'm part of the problem. So I voted for bags in seats.

  • In reply to Gabriel Conroy:

    Come on Gabriel! Be part of the solution. It's OK to stand by the doors as long as you step off so others behind you can exit.

  • You missed the most egregious one. People who think they need to sing or rap along to whatever they're listening to. (With, as a backup, those who listen to their music loud enough so that you can hear it.)

  • In reply to WCityMike:

    Seconded, Mike. I find that more annoying than anything on the list.

  • As a person that uses a wheelchair, Strollers are a major deterrent in using CTA. While some people fold them up, their are as many that do not, using Priority Seating (which is intended for people with disabilities of any age per Federal Regulations).Strollers that block bus aisles so that everyone have to crawl over, or just add to blocking of aisles because they are not able to get around strollers. When I am going in parts of the city where the stroller problem is bad, I have given in to using paratransit, or taxis if possible. Some of the CTA personnel make requests for strollers to be folded, and some CTA personnel just ignore the issue.
    Jim W. at Ability Chicago Info

  • I voted for the door blocking standees, but #2 would have been those damned huge strollers.
    There needs to be a charge for them & since they take up two seats or more, make them pay $5 for a stroller.
    Before the lifts or ramps, no one had a stroller on the bus, so I guess they walked or took a cab.
    I've seen people go just two stops with them, so they're just plain lazy!

    But there should also have been a way to vote for all the young & healthy that sit in the senior & handicapped seats up front. Besides an occasional disability that flares up, I now qualify as an actual senior & I'm disgusted by all the teens & moms with kids that sit there.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I understand senior's needing the seats up front, but the side facing seats are the only ones that tall people like me (6'7") can fit into, so I tend to go for one of them if I can, including the ones in the front.

    I think the real peeve should be the young people who take the seats in front, and don't offer to stand for seniors/folks with obvious signs of disabilities like canes and walkers.


    Who sets the volume on those things? Are they addressing a corner case? I hope so. It bugs that the conductors, who should have a sense of the ear-splitting volume, scream 'n holler into their microphones.

    While I'm here (my usual preface): Why can't the CTA just use the speakers "Metra style" (as in, "Next stop, Berwyn" and nothing else). Why do we have to be told to (for example) not gamble on the train? (Hint to the CTA: They're not working.)

  • In reply to Blue:

    Hah. I've always thought that was pretty weird, too. If someone is on the train that's going to gamble and or solicit this and that, they aren't going to hear it and think "oh gee golly, this is not permitted. I shouldn't do this". Please. They know darn well what they're doing. I see games being played off and on all the time.

  • I voted for the standees, but my biggest pet peeve is actually bus/train operators who don't know, or refuse to, smoothly operate the bus/train.

    Seriously, one of these days I'm going to get an accelerometer, and measure the g's of the ride throughout the trip. You've got the bus drivers that know a stop is coming up, and yet race to the stop, and then lean heavy on the brake, causing standing passengers to get thrown forward. C'mon, I know the bus can be slowed smoothly.

    On the trains, you have the motormen/motorwomen who like to pull out of the station, travel 20 feet, and then dump the throttle, causing the train to jerk to a halt. As quickly as the train stops, it's back on the throttle for full-force acceleration. WTF. I also enjoy the operators who move the train 10 feet at a time while waiting for a signal, or a train ahead. Look, you're not going anywhere, so park it and wait.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Some of the bus drivers even admonish people to "hang on" when they're about to accelerate jerkily. Hang on with what and to what, when you've a bag in each hand and the CTA has eliminated many of the handholds in the front part of the bus?

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Modern locomotives capture all sorts of realtime data, and feed it back to HQ for analysis. As far as I understand, engineers are given bonuses for saving fuel.

    Maybe if the CTA installed accelerometers, and gave out monthly service award to the "smoothest" drivers, the operators would have an incentive to stop driving like idiots. As it sits now, there is very little one can do about an erratic operator.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    I'd like them all to listen to Bob Newhart's famous bit about bus driver school. Maybe they might realize it's a joke and they're not actually supposed to make the old lady spin like a top all the way from the front of the bus to the back.

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    I'd like to include people that hang out and clog the front of the bus and refuse to move to the back.

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    With Winter firmly with us I am finding the Blue Line to be always packed during peak hours (which is what I would expect). The problem is that this is when you see all lacking of manners surface with a vengeance.

    My 2 annoyances are the following and they are happening ALL the time:
    1.The people who try to make you let go of the pole before the train even stops.
    2.The people who act like they’re the only ones who are going to get off at a major stop.

    Understand. these are packed cars so there is no where for folks to easily move to make way for you until the damn car stops, doors open and at least some people next to the doors get out. What's especially pissing me off is when some fool pats me on the shoulder to get out of his way without even thinking that I might actually be getting off at this stop as well.

  • In reply to Ramin Streets:

    Ramin Streets, good post. #2 is especially annoying when it's accompanied by a screeching "COMING OUT!"

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    My biggest complaint are the lazy people who immediately plop down int he handicapped seats then absolutely refuse to move for someone with a disability. I came so close to smacking this guy up the head yesterday for giggling at a blind lady who needed a seat! He could have gotten his able bodied ass up but instead he just laughed!

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