CTA shames discourteous riders with humorous campaign

We’ve written often about annoying behavior of CTA riders.

  • Blocking the doors.
  • Littering.
  • Not giving your seat to expectant mothers.
  • Playing loud music.
  • Talking loudly on your phone.
  • Putting your bag on the seat next to you.

The CTA has gotten the message that we riders are very annoyed by these behaviors and has started a rather humorous campaign to shame discourteous riders.

Good for them! They are following the lead of New York’s subway system, which started its own campaign earlier this year.

View these great photos that highlight the campaign.


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  • I'm sure some of their mothers were not pregnant and others were 25 times.

    The bag had a circuit breaker free fare card.

    Given 9, I don't think 6. There was an article about the diction in 9, but they didn't mention the real excrement.

    Also, did anyone notice that other than #2, the predominant racial group on the rapid transit system is not depicted on this waste of mylar? Like the guy accused of killing someone under the L at Oakdale who was captured on camera jumping from a rooftop to the L platform? Isn't there a "hey dumbadze, you are on candid camera" one? Proving you can't shame some people.

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    In reply to jack:

    Exactly. I mentioned that in the Trib as soon as the campaign was released. Probably too hot of a PC topic to dare to depict some, or even ONE, black person committing the ignorant/rude/or dirty behavior. Effin' ridiculous. The proof of the ridiculousness is the fact that if it were all black people depicted doing the offensive things in the campaign, instead of all white people, the outrage would be immense---as it should.

    Shame on the creators of the campaign. Clever scenarios but horrible depictions. Well, show me an ad agency or "creative" agency that isn't made up of virtually all white people. White guilt in action in these depictions. What a joke.

  • In reply to Terry Falduto:

    Since you put it that way, other than the woman on the phone in #7 (and since she is in other posters, you are correct that it probably was just folks from the ad agency in all of them), the gourmet dinner and the reference to "your maid" sure shows that this was aimed at a social class other than the one that usually rides the L. My point was originally directed to who rides the L as opposed to necessarily who causes the problems, but the effect is generally the same. I don't think it is patrons of Topolobampo bringing their doggy bags onto the subway at the Grand station.

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    In reply to jack:

    I'm not necessarily suggesting the people in the photos were staff from the ad agency. They might have been hired, local actors. My comment still stands about the ludicrousness of showing only white people, in a hugely diverse ridership that populates the CTA daily, as the ones committing the offensive acts.

  • It's not the Riders per se but the Employees.

  • In reply to Craig Jackson:

    Huh? Sorry, but I haven't seen a train or bus operator a) blocking the doors, b) littering, c) not giving up a seat, d) playing loud music, e) talking loudly on a phone, or e) blocking a seat with a bag.

    Yes, I've run across rude employees, but it's quite rare. Most employees are rather pleasant, and given the fact that they have to deal with the dipsh*t riders that fall into categories A - E, I'd say they're almost saint-like. Now, if we could get some of them to operate their bus/train in a smooth manner that doesn't resemble an operator having a seizure, then I'd be a happy camper.

    Face it, discourteous riders have a major chip on their shoulders. The world has obviously done them wrong, and/or they believe that they're the center of the universe. The more you point out their boorish behavior, the more likely they'll continue to do it in spades.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    "Huh? Sorry, but I haven't seen a train or bus operator "

    Maybe someone should develop a poster with an Asian operator and a message about don't fall asleep on the gas pedal or controller. Or maybe "Red means Red."

  • On #9, don't answer that question--yes, I know someone whose 2 houses, purse, medicine pouch, and several other things are not that clean.

  • They didn't even get to the idiots who get up from their seats two to four stops early & then stand up front, making it difficult for anyone getting off in front & just as difficult for anyone getting.

    Stay seated until yours is the next stop, then get up.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Have that happen to me pretty often. I'm always careful to time my getting up from my seat so I arrive at the front just in time. What's tricky is guessing when the driver will make the bus lurch, so you can try not to be between handholds when that happens. (Yes, I often get off in the front, because the back is too big a step down when they don't pull close enough to the curb, or if it's been raining there'll be a huge puddle.)

    Another form of bad timing is when someone intends to get off but doesn't appear at the front of the bus until the people who want to get on have started to get on...after first waiting to see if anybody was getting off.

  • I like these. Someone's been paying attention to the rudest common behaviors and framing some shaming.

    A variation on #12 (keep to the right when you walk) may need to be explained to users of public sidewalks and crosswalks. A lot of people seem to take it into their heads to do just the opposite of what the custom is in the United States. It worries me that they might drive that way, too.

  • I take matters into my own hands. Block the doors, I will bowl you over. Walk on the left side of stairs, I refuse to move out of the way. Keep your worldly goods on a seat, I will sit in them. I ride the escalator. Don't even think of pushing past me. Block the station door while have a conversation about your meaningless life; You will get hit by the door when I open it. Simple solutions to simple problems. Why is the CTA wasting money on these ads? Whose ne'er do well relative got the contract?

  • Peter, your viewpoint on refusing to move out of the way on an escalator is rude. Do you do the same on people movers at O'Hare? Many people use the escalator to walk and get to the top faster. Stay to the right so that people wanting to walk can pass by. I don't see how this is an inconvenience to you.

  • In reply to chris:

    The escalators are moving stairs. You ride them. That is their purpose. It is not rude. It is intelligent. Only stupid people walk up moving stairs or people movers. If you want to climb, use the stairs. They are conveniently located next to the escalators. Your being in a hurry is not my problem.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    No, it's not intelligent, it's lazy. Most people walk up escalators, not ride them. You're the minority. It allows you to climb stairs faster or in the case of an airport, the ability to travel large distances quickly.

    What would you do in London Tube where there is no staircase next to the escalator?

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    In reply to chris:

    Except this isn't London. If the queen had stones, she'd be the king.

  • In reply to Terry Falduto:

    Or even if Prince Charles had...

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    In reply to jack:


  • In reply to Terry Falduto:

    He was making a point about escalators. I stand by my comments in the first paragraph.

  • In reply to chris:

    Most people walk up them? I doubt it. Don't forget about people who are disabled or old, or have bad knees, or are tired. These people are not "lazy." They have a right to exist, and to ride. That's why the escalators are there. Yes, they should stand to the right so both the walkers and the riders can use it. But if it's a single width escalator then it's for them. So don't stand there breathing down their necks or silently wishing they would die and leave the world to the young and fit. And if you want to run up stairs, then run up the stairs. Escalators are not put there as running amplifiers for you. If you are running late, leave home earlier.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    Oh, so that makes me stupid, since I actually want to WALK up the escalator, maybe get a few seconds of exercise in. Wow. It's not always about being in a hurry, you know. And yes, I do know where the stairs are, and occasionally use them too! It's rude to block the whole stair you're standing on, if there's clearly room for you to move to either side if someone wants to get by. Usually, if you stand really close to the person in front of you, they get the hint. I can't do this at the Rosemont Blue Line station though, since those escalators are too small, so I use the stairs there.

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    In reply to mulder42:

    I enjoy walking the escalator, too. But it's often not a matter of "it's rude to block the whole stair you're standing on." An escalator can carry more passengers if everyone isn't in a strict, single file line along the right side, all lined up behind one another, one person per stair. Yes, there are clueless people who hog a stair but there are also people who ride two-to-a-stair, whether they know each other (such as a parent-child) or not.

  • Hey I got a good laugh out of the guy with a big boombox on his shoulder. I remember when people used to walk around with those.

    I think CTA is wasting their money here. It is what it is, public transit, and people have be willing to share the space and if someone may be rude, not everyone is going to be a model citizen so people just need to work around it.

    Now last week I had a guy on the #80 sit next to me and he tapped my arm and said "well" He didn't have enough room and moreless ordered me to get smaller I guess. As this is not possible or will make me feel like a sardine. I gave him both seats. Now what did he do? He took both seats for himself!! He got off at the bar. I should have just gave him a beer and he would've been happy.

    Now as far the new #5000's. Maybe we wouldn't be standing by the door if we had somewhere to sit down. CTA's refusal to change the seating arrangement is insulting in itself. I need to hire an advertising firm myself and print up a few ads on those trains. LOL!!

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    In reply to Bushunter:

    Agreed about the boombox pic. Although it is a dated reference it is intentionally depicted so over the top that it's funny.

  • In reply to Terry Falduto:

    Reminds me that they brought back the original "Let's Make a Deal" on Channel 50.4 last night, and the prize cars, televisions, and, in point, stereos, sure look like ancient junk. But I don't know if one can convey the same message if an iPod were depicted.

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