10 rules for tourists on how to use CTA Red Line to Cubs game

Yes folks, it’s that time again.

Opening Day at Wrigley Field.

The crack of the bat. The sight of lush grass on the diamond. The smell of onions and beer. The drunk out-of-towner trying to stumble his way to Wrigley on the Red Line.

For that last scenario, here are 10 tips to ease the way on the CTA.

  1. Don’t block the platform. I often see tourists or CTA newbies clogging up the bottom or top of the stairs on the platform. Move!
  2. Move down the platform. A corollary to Rule No. 1. Moving down the platform to either end will increase your chances of actually being able to board a train crowded with Cubs fans.
  3. Move into the center of the car. Don’t be that guy who parks his huge frame in the doorway when there’s room to move down the aisle. And yes, the motorman will wait for all passengers to exit at Addison.
  4. Hang on to something. A pole. A seat back. Your partner, who is hanging on to a pole. The train *does* tend to lurch around, and sway, and negotiate tight bends. So you will fall, especially if you’re drunk.
  5. Don’t drink on the train. Yes, we know you will be “pre-gaming” on Division Street or wherever, but don’t bring it on the train. Not only is it illegal, it’s also obnoxious. Especially when you don’t offer me any.
  6. Don’t be an a**hole and drunkenly mess with other riders who are just trying to get to or from home or work. In fact, we all know you don’t have to mess with them to really be an a**hole. So, just don’t be one.
  7. Don’t start a fight with riders wearing your opponent’s jersey. Then you would be a special kind of a**hole.
  8. Be careful of your surroundings. Don’t show your bling, which includes fancy iPhones, iPads, purses or jewelry. They could be gone quicker than you would even notice.
  9. Don’t be an obnoxious celler. Sure, we know you’re gonna call your buddy who’s already at Bernie’s, but does the whole train car have to know you saw a hot chick at North/Clybourn?
  10. Know where you’re going. Don’t go the wrong way going home. Or get off at the wrong stop. Or totally miss your stop. Pretend you’re not a tourist and at least know where you are going.

Print this out and live by these rules. Baseball season will be a lot more bearable for all us, especially when the Cubs are 20 games out in August.


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  • Lush grass on the diamond but no lush or grass on the trains.

  • Drunk Cubs fans on the Red Line are some of the most pleasant and most responsible people I have ever met.

  • 10A (a corollary to 10): Follow the directions on the sign that at least used to be painted on one of the buildings, and take the train 8 miles south and get off at Sox-35. However, you won't actually see a baseball game there until Friday the 13th. [Scooter reminds you not to go south of there.]

    #4 also seems to imply (with two references) that Stash is a Cubs fan and rides the L. Given Chicago demographics, he is more likely on the 80 or 152 bus. But he wouldn't mind if Sophia hung onto him.

    I was going to mention something else, but I see that it was covered in # 8.

  • In reply to jack:

    Speaking of hanging onto poles, you might be interested in this Robert Feder post, and maybe even my comment thereto.

  • In reply to jack:

    I go south of 35th all the time & I'm white.
    But if you do go, don't buy anything from the peddlars on the train & don't give any money to either beggars, religious nuts or those claiming to be aspiring singers & then inflicting their off key, talentless renditions of some garbage claiming to be music.

  • Tip #11: Do not pee on the train, like this jackhole: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xh45Ie5OMx0

  • In reply to Ryan606:

    That was noted on the Tattler before.

    Cubs fans should be able to squeeze the door open and shoot it out while the train is in motion, and fertilize adjacent trees. Maybe not the female ones, though.

  • Rule 3A: If there is an empty seat, take it. Do not wait for six seats together so the whole family can sit down.

  • #12: Don't sprawl out across or put your feet on the seats because you think "that's how the locals do it." We don't.

  • I forgot it was opening day...until my SB Brown pulled into Belmont @ 4pm. There should be some sort of spring training for L riders so we can be sharp and ready for dealing with the drunken masses of any team's fans. I guess maybe that's what St. Patrick's Day is supposed to be for those of us who venture out and choose not to get obliterated?

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