The Chicago Transit Authority is offering free rides on buses and trains New Year's Eve between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. January l. This is to ensure the safety of pedestrians as well as drivers who are inebriated, or drunk, if you will.
The last time I took advantage of riding the train for New Year's Eve, it was in the 80's and the CTA charged a penny. It still was a great deal.
By allowing the public free rides now, it makes it inexcusable to get behind the wheel drunk, or wander the streets the same way.
I read a DNA news article that asked the opinion of its readers about how they felt about the CTA giving free rides this New Year's Eve. One person responded that "it will give the gangbangers more opportunity to harass and possibly rob other passengers."
Although that may be a negative outlook, you can't blame the way that person felt. With the crime rate being what it is in Chicago, it is pretty risky going anywhere. However, when there is a free outlet to the public, you definitely don't know what to expect.
I can't help to remember when my friends and I rode the train for a penny. That was an adventure in itself. Sure, there was your usual riff-raff but nothing to be worried about.
We rode the Howard train to the North side (now called the Red Line) where we saw drunkards of course, drug addicts, the homeless, and tired looking drag queens here and there.
But again, there was no violence. I don't know if that was because of the Guardian Angels present at that time, but we didn't feel threatened. In fact, it was raw entertainment; all for one cent.
Times have definitely changed in Chicago. It's sad when you have to flip a coin so to speak, to figure out which method of transportation you want to use, to get you to where you want to go safely.
The best advice I have when you're going out are oldies but goodies:
- There's safety in numbers
- Have a designated person among you
- If you came together, leave together
By all means, if you decide to ride free, if you see something, say something. YouTube has their share of people using their phone to record senseless videos of people getting harmed, instead of calling for help.
The CTA is graciously doing their part by letting you ride free so please do your part by being a responsible passenger as much as you can.
Filed under: Health and Wellness