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What's your opinion on aisle-facing seats?

Take this poll on the aisle-facing seats coming in 2009. I'll shares the results with the powers-that-be at the CTA.


The problem with any kind of barrier between seats is that some people are bigger than that. I'd fit, but I know a few people who wouldn't.

I think we'll probably get used to the side-facing seats, but I do like how seats are arranged now (especially the single seats on the Brown Line) and won't be celebrating the change. If the new config brings more stuff to hold onto (railings, poles, straps, etc.), that's a good thing.

I avoid the aisle facing seats on the bus, I'd hate them just as much on the train. There are several reasons why I hate the aisle facing bus seats:
1) my feet don't touch the floor on certain buses - then my legs go numb or people kick my feet.
2) there's very little "personal space" in those seats, people squish next to you it's not comfortable at all, I'd rather be standing than sitting in an aisle facing seat.
3) the standing people hit you with their baggage or step on your feet (although when my feet don't touch the floor they are safe...until my leg goes to sleep again)
4) when people squish in, they expect you to move over...there's nowhere to go unless I want the plastic outline of where my butt goes up my butt to where I'm sitting in two seats rather than the one I picked. THAT is totally uncomfortable. Maybe a flat bench would be better than the outlined "your butt goes here" kind of thing cuz when someone forces you over that raised divider-ish thing is NOT FUN to sit on.

If they do make more sideways facing seats I hope they consider the shorter people who ride and make more poles that come down to hold on to. On the bus, the rail near the ceiling is too high for me to hold onto, I have to hold the poles that come down from the ceiling or I will lose my balance and fall over. There isn't enough to hold onto on the train for short people stuck standing

I have a big ass, I know it, it's all good. I hate hate hate the side facing seats b/c somebody always violates the fat ass rule "No 2 fat asses next to each other." And then when it starts to get squished, I will end up with someone who carelessly sits and tries to sit on my fat ass that is spilling over the tiny seats. I could lose weight, but I like food and wine.

Oh and I agree with Pattie's first staement, ny feet don't touch the floor on some buses either!

The haven't said whether the L will get the fat ass seats like are supposed to be on the 1000 series buses. And have they been installed on the buses, yet?

As I said here before, this will be a HUGE mistake. I don't think any of the CTA planners actually ride the trains. The center-facing seats are the last to fill up.

I agree - a majority of CTA riders are way too big to fit within the confines of a spacer. There are some that ride the 22 Clark with me in the morning that can barely fit in one of the regular bus seats that should hold 2 people! I'm waiting for the drivers to start having to boot people based on a total load weight limit. Yikes.

Personally, I love the aisle facing seats on both the buses and trains, and will usually stand if there are none of those available. Why? Two reasons: First, I don't have to worry about disturbing someone when I want to exit the bus/train. Second, this keeps me facing towards the entire bus/train, which makes me feel safer. One of those "never sit with your back to the door" things.

About time. In one fell swoop does away with idiots standing in the doorways when there's space inside and sitting on the outer seat of the duals with their bag on the inner. CTA enters the real world.

I've actually lived in a city with aisle-facing train seating (Boston) and I found it so much better than the forward/rear facing configuration here. Here people sit in the aisle seat, explicitely to prevent someone from sitting next to them, wasting seats. If you're in the window seat and get a neighbor, it's nearly impossible to get out without causing a lot of trouble, particularly on a morning commute when everyone is carrying bags and coffee cups. Also, when I sit in any seat I'm basically riding too up close with everyone, it's just a fact of life. In the aisle-facing seats as they are now, I have to contend with people resting their elbows on the backs of the forward-facing seat, elbowing me in the head. I also have to deal with people sticking their butts and/or fingers into the aisle-facing seating area when they lean against the divider at the door. Aisle facing seats make it easier to get up and get off the train, and give more comfortable room for standees. Also, people sort themselves quite naturally, not crowding any oversized passengers until absolutely necessary. It really is more comfortable on average, even though you lose the luxury of taking up two forward-facing seats for yourself. It's public transportation people, it's supposed to be efficient and fair, not comfy.

I agree with Kerry. People do tend to sort themselves out. Lots of people too big for these configurations will stand when one of "their" seats is not available. These seats are usually like the single seats on the Brown Line. In this new configuration, lots of those people would find the new "their" seats and help work the issue out.

On the other hand, if we could get decent bucket seats with Captain's Chair-type arm rests that might be a good way to go. Can we get cut holders in them?

i'm for it ... like many things (hello, smoking ban), it works in new york, it can work here. i've been on the NYC subway in rush hour ... smooshed is smooshed regardless of the position of seats. i'm a small person, i know all about being smooshed in between two supersized people, but it will make it easier to stand

The homeless people who "sleep" in the cars will now take up four or more seats; instead of two! What will more security camera do? Who is going to watch? If there is a problem by the time a train driver notices someone would be killed!

I am anti-aisle facing seats mostly because sitting sideways, in relation to the movement of the car, makes me sick. But also - who wants to be eye-level with crotches on the way to work in the AM?
I think the bigger issue is that there are no poles or rails for standing riders to hold onto on CTA trains...Everyone is always crowding the door because that's the only vertical support to be had. At least on forward facing seats there are those rails along the top people can hold onto.

Now I can have people fall asleep on me on BOTH sides. Oh joy.

I don't like the new seats, but I think dividers just aren't practical. They'll break or bend eventually.

"It's public transportation people, it's supposed to be efficient and fair, not comfy."

Not being "comfy" enough is one of the reasons people don't like to use it. I don't expect fancy padded leather seats, of course, but there must be inexpensive ways to make it less uncomfortable.

Dang, cameras on trains? Gotta tell my ad-grabbing friends to do their work while they can ~_^

My main issue, which is a little silly in the grand scheme of things, Is that I won't be able to look out the window next to me. And I like looking at Chicago at EL level.

If this was NYC and we had the majority of our system underground then the view wouldn't be a problem but we don't so it is something to miss. Now I know that they won't replace all the cars with the new ones immediately so there is still some time to take in the view.

Jebus H. Christ!!!

If your ass is too fat to fit in the chairs and your legs are too short to hit the floor, you need to get into the gym for a workout and stop making the whole system conform to your bad eating habits!

The other seats are the same size as the sideways seats (except for the little ones at the front of the train)

Moon-- I don't see how going to a gym is going to make an adult TALLER.

I don't see all the seats facing in is going to make the dorks who have to stand in the doorway move it. They don't stand there because there's no room/nothing to hold onto. They stand there because they're self-centered, ill-mannered people.

Center facing seats are easier for people getting on and off. No doubt. I've ridden subways in NYC, Mexico City, Istanbul, London, Boston, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Chicago (of course), and it works ten times better to have aisle facing seats. Having a wide aisle in the middle of the train also encourages better space use - less crowding near the door. I love Chicagoans but they are too resistent to change even when it makes sense. We're not talking about knocking down a neighborhood and building cinder block condominiums here!

I think this is a great idea, especially during rush hour. The way it is now, you really can only have 1 row of people down the aisle, leaving a crush of people around the doors. I also hate holding onto the wierd handles on the seat - many times I've accidently caught a woman's long hair while trying to hold on, so more straps and poles will be nice. Also when it's really crowded, and you're on a window seat and have to get out, it can be crazy. The person next to you doesn't really have any room to stand up, so they'll swing their legs over, and you climb over them into the crowded aisle ...

All in all, I think it will work well. For those who can't fit into a seat, I don't understand how forward seats help that. As far as being hit with stuff, when you're sitting sideways, you have a little buffer between you and the standees. The only downside is that, as Pattie said, you're more likely to get your feet stepped on.

Stretching, dammit. STRETCHING will make you taller!


/I stand in the doorway because there's no way to hang on in the middle of the car.

//But I DO move from one door to the other to get out of exiting/entering people's way.

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