If you haven't had a chance to ride one of the new El cars, you're in for a real treat. Okay, not really. I would bet a large sum of money that NO ONE at the Chicago Transit Authority asked just how satisfied customers would be with these "improvements" before spending the millions to implement. From a very high-level, in my "humble" opinion:
- No, the new layout does not increase the number of riders you can squeeze in at rush hour
- Yes, it IS significantly more uncomfortable to sit because you are now next to TWO people and the space is much less (i.e. you have to criss-cross your arms in front of each other to keep from overly touching your neighbor)
- The people that are standing are now even MORE all up in your stuff than before because they need to seriously hover over you in order to hold on
- The new lights and extra-sensitive movements from the "new wheels" make people nauseous - especially me
And this is where the Beatles come in. I ride the red line from Monroe to Loyola, which is, let me count, 1, 2, 3, 4....a million stops away from each other. I had the blessed fortune of riding in a new car this evening. It is now to the point where when I see the overly illuminated car signage that says "Howard" coming towards me, I cringe and debate if it's worth waiting for the next car. By the time I got to Belmont, I had been sardined in my seat for about 6 or 7 stops, and the high-powered halogen lights were starting to bring on the nausea. I was thinking to myself, "Something about the way this car is moving..." and I realized how similar that sounded to the first line of George Harrison's song "Something"....."something in the way she moves...."
.....Something in the way it moves....makes me feel like I might get sick. Something in the way it moves me. I just wanna leave it now, I'll get off at Belmont, ow.
Somehow on this car, I know, the lights are so bright that they hurt my head. Something 'bout the style that annoys me. I just wanna leave it now, I'll get off at Wilson, ow.
You're asking me if this car blows. Oh for sho, yeah, for sho. Just stick around, and I might blow. My tummy, oooohhhh, I feel, ooohhhhh.......
So yeah. Good luck with that, and keep some Tums on you.