Great CTA Riders: the untold story

CTA horror stories. Everyone has one. The screaming cell phone users. The day-time drunks. The eaters. Oh, for all that is holy, the eaters! We’ve all experienced the worst the train has to offer, many times over. But what about the good stories? No one ever talks about the good guys and gals. Until now. Today, we celebrate those who make the train a little more tolerable.

  1. The ‘Tweeners

In a world full of bulging backpacks and over-sized satchels, these angels understand that space is limited. They keep their bags between their legs, leaving those around them with a little wiggle room. Not only that, it reduces the number of times someone will hit me directly in the throat with their bag…which is a bonus.

2. The Shoulder Tappers

Everyone has had fellow riders push past them on the train while screaming “OFF, PLEASE” at the top of their lungs. Then, every now and then, a kind soul will tap you on the shoulder and wait patiently for you to give them room to exit the train. I get emotional just thinking about these encounters.

3. The “Don’t Mention It” Masters

Every once in awhile, your train’s driver will hit the brakes so hard, you’ll slam into a passenger like a mike linebacker coming free on a blitz. These masters of balance and patience will not only absorb your cross-body block with a smile, they’ll help you back to your feet and make sure YOU’RE ok before quietly returning their attention to what I can only assume is a well-worn copy of Eat, Pray, Love.

4. The Not-Their-Stop-Step-Off Superstars

Surprisingly, all your fellow passengers aren’t getting off at the same stop. These huggable heroes will step off the train — even if that stop isn’t their final destination — in order to let other passengers exit. These folks deserve their own holiday or at least their faces on the 1o-dollar bill.

5. The Smilers

None of us enjoy the train. It’s too hot (or too cold). It’s crowded. It smells. It’s running late. But amidst all that anguish, a stranger can make eye-contact, give you a polite smile and a slight head nod and all your worries will melt away.

Hi, I’m Jason. I’m a copywriter with Simple Truth. If you ever want to talk train etiquette or anything else, just tweet me on the Twitter at @fiveoutstogo.