Here's why eating is prohibited on the CTA
Pookie Marie's story here is instructive in understanding why the CTA prohibits eating and drinking on trains and buses:
Today at rush hour on the usually VERY nice and respectable #147 bus down Lake Shore Drive, a woman was sitting in the seat eating chicken and had some very strong sweet smelling barbecue sauce. She had her chicken bones and food paper in the seat next to her.
I sat down in the seat behind her to see what would unfold. Five people passed by this seat and no one confronted the chicken eater. A few times, the chicken-eating woman fell asleep as if he had narcolepsy and I was sure her meal was going to go all over the seat.
Well, a lady in a white top and light blue silk skirt asked to sit down. She was about to sit down on some goo and I said "Wait!" I handed her a slightly used paper towel but she was grateful to have even that to wipe the seat.
A few stops later, the chicken lady got up, with her sauced-bag and bones and greasy fingers, and proceeded to put her greasy hand on the back of the seat so she could brace herself to get up.
The lady with the nice outfit then proceeded to wipe the front, back, side, top and all around because the chicken eater didn't look like she was wearing very clean clothes.
The lady thanked me for handing her a paper towel to wipe all surfaces.
Now I think I'm going to carry some wet wipes so that I can wipe down the seats.
Now I was thinking, "Aha! This is what they experience on the Red Line all the time." But this is the first time on the usually respectable #147 express down Lake Shore Drive that I saw this happening.