Here's some great advice for CTA riders from Cliff. Call it an addendum to my Ten Commandments for CTA riders:
So I'm riding the Red Line home last night during rush hour. I've got one of the single seats at the car end(faces inward). This blondish, Euro-trash wannabe Chad named Charlie who works for City Year (don't wear nametags on the CTA unless you work there!) boards the train, and winds up standing in front of me.
This effectively traps me in the crush until he gets off at Belmont. He reaches into his backpack (after swinging it around and clobbering a couple of other passengers with it) and pulls out Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. He leans against the door between cars and begins to read.
Now he could have actually been as cool as he looked. There definitely was an air of nonchalance about him. Unfortunately for him, he ruined it by scratching his crotch every 3 to 4 minutes. And I'm not talking a simple adjustment; this was under and back sort of scratching. Then for some odd reason he sniffs his fingers and puts them in his mouth! All of this is occuring within a foot or two of my face!
I'm not originally from Chicago, but I've lived here long enough and ridden the CTA long enough to create the following 5 rules:
#1: You're not alone. Don't act like it.
#2: CTA Buses and Trains are touched by hundreds of people everyday. So don't eat on the CTA unless you like the idea of hundreds of people potentially having touched your food. And wash your hands as soon as you can after leaving the CTA...
#3: It's public transit. It's a miniscule chance that you are as cool/hip/trendy as you think you are. And, yes, everyone else is laughing at you. They're just really good at keeping it inside.
#4: It's PUBLIC transit. If you wanted to have a private conversation on your cell phone, you should've stayed at home.
#5: If you wouldn't do it in front of your mother or a rabbi/priest, don't do it on the CTA!