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The gloved guy; CTA Quiet Car?

A couple of quick observations:

Winter garb in June? It was 80 degrees on Tuesday, heading home on the Red Line. I look down the aisle and notice a guy wearing a jacket, a wool cap and white, wool gloves. And other than wearing winter clothes in June, he looked normal -- not at all mentally ill. I'm thinking he was trying to protect himself from all those germs the Trib found.

Cell-free cars a hit on Amtrak. A work friend who commutes from Milwaukee via the Amtrak train tells me that the most popular car is the no-cell-phone car. They call it the Quiet Car, and it fills up the fastest. Can we have one on CTA trains? Pretty please?

One man's dropped penny is another man's.... As a guy gets up to leave the train, a penny goes skittering down the aisle out of his pocket. He ignores it. But not the guy sitting in the seat at which the penny rolled to a stop. He reached down, picked it up and shamelessly pocketed it.

Comments

RE: The Quiet Car on Amtrak

I ride the Hiawatha service (that's the commuter train between Milwaukee and Chicago) whenever I head to or from school, and the Quiet Car is actually usually empty except for me and one or two guys with laptops. No one likes it because they all want to use their cell phones. You can walk to some of the other cars and listen to four or five conversations at once. I'd rather sit in the Quiet Car and listen to my music. (Say hi if you see me!) I'd love to see one on the El.

I thought all the germophobes would enjoy this article in Science News Magazine. It's about how some germs keep us healthy. Especially exciting for the squeamish will be the woman whose intestinal balance was thrown off by antibiotics. Something required for digestion got killed off. The cure? They replaced the missing bacteria by supplying some from her husband's digestive tract. That is, a poop transfusion. No, I'm not kidding.

I always pick up money on the street, hey that's a penny I didn't have to work for.

One time this guy was begging for money in front of the Walgreens, as I walked by him I saw that there was a penny on the ground about 4 feet away from him, I picked it up and put it in my pocket, I figured he didn't want it!

A quiet car would be inconsistent with CTA's efforts to lease the right to use the communication system in the subway.

It seems beyond me why cell phone users would want maybe 100 other people on the car to hear their side of their business, but I guess they don't care.

I would love a CTA quiet car. I like to read on the train and it can be difficult when you have 10 different conversations going on around you.

From a realistic point of view though, if the CTA refuses or is incapable of even enforcing basic rules like “no smoking, eating or loud radio playing,” I don’t see how they could enforce the quiet zone.

I don't necessarily care for a quiet car, but how about a car on the Blue that's specifically for the people going to and from the airport. Then they can keep all of their huge bags that take up the space of 1 or 2 people away from the people who actually need the space and take the train more than a few times a year to get to an airport.

A great idea, Brad. It would eliminate the inevitable hurdle event whenever a bunch of tourists get on at Washington with their steamer trunks and stop two feet inside the doors.

I take the L frequently to the airport and always do my best to keep my bags out of everyone's way. I think the orange line is a lot better to take than the blue line since it has the arrangement with single seats which has a lot more space for bags.

When I have to ride with my bike on the red line I always try to move to the hobo corner to stay out of everyone's way. Once I got on not realizing there was a cubs game and had my bike in the middle of a huge crowd. I got of at the next station, waited for 10 minutes and got on the last car so as to be as little of an inconvenience as possible.

I always pick up stray money when I see it. It seems like bad karma to ignore it, as if I'm too good to pick it up.

Sure someone less fortunate might find it, but maybe not. Maybe it gets swept away. Of course I give away far more money than I pick up, from charity donations to overtipping.

Re: Quiet Car.
I too ride Amtrak's Hiawatha Service between Milwaukee and Chicago and I always sit in the Quiet Car. After a long day at work it is an oasis from loud-mouthed business people, screaming kids and annoying small talkers. The car often fills up when I ride (the peak of morning and evening rush hour). Sometimes the rules are broken and no conductors are around to stop the behavior. However, many riders take it upon themselves to let others know when they should pipe down. And when the mob speaks, people listen.

Even if the CTA decided to implement a "quiet car" policy, and even if they figured out a way to enforce such a rule, it wouldn't make a difference. 90% of the noise on the L is the train itself. The annoying cellers and ranting crazies just add to the experience.

It's easy to have an airport-only car on a Blue Line train. Most folks who are carrying luggage to O'Hare know that the front of the train is closest to the terminals, and no one likes to drag their suitcases the length of a train. So leave the front of the train to the travelers and move back if you're just commuting or going elsewhere.

There have been studies on the cost-efficiency of picking up coins off the street. (There's none. You lose.) I'm with the guy in the Trib this week; it's stupid to even mint pennies, let alone bother to pick them up, and I'd love to see them withdrawn from circulation.

Pennies: It will never change because the public will cry and the politicians will crumble. Remember the failure of two attemmpts to introduce dollar coins?

Cell Phones: As much as I hate listening to other people's calls this morning it was actually amusing. I was on the Red Line and it was busy so I had to stand near the doors. A young over-weight bearded guy gets on at Addison and pulls out his cell phone. He is obviously calling his boss. "Hi Kathy, it's X. I'm on the Red Line and we were stalled for over 25 minutes at Addison but we're moving now and I'll be in soon." But he's lying. There was no delay. So a number of us start laughing and one guy even yells out, "LIAR!" I hope his boss, Kathy, reads the CTA Tattler today.

Pennies:
New Zealand (and Australia?) got rid of pennies long ago, everything is rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents. Can you imagine the outcry if we were to do that- people would be raising hell because they were paying a couple cents more for something eventhough they may be paying a cent or two less for something else. New Zealand also has tax included in the price which although seems like you are paying more initially, it is very easy to get used to the fact that the price you see on the shelf is the price you will pay at the cash register.

There actually were a lot of delays on the SB Red line during this morning's commute. I can't say whether they affected your Mr. X, of course.

I usually have my iPod on, with earbuds that keep out most of the sound. When they're not in though, I am usually sitting within earshot of someone who has the el-cheapo free headphones that allow everyone except the wearer to hear the music loud and clear. Can we ban those in the quiet car too?

What an oxymoron: a quiet car on the L. The Hiawatha equipment is a quieter ride by nature, excluding the people. If people want to talk on their mobile phones on the Blue Line, go ahead-- its too loud to hear them over the equipment anyway.

Wouldn't a quiet car just fill up with hoboes in need of a place to sleep? I relate it to college, and how people used the library to sleep because it was quiet. Maybe they could get the surly Blue Line CTA Manager to moderate.

An airport car, however, would be awesome; either the first or last car on the train. Or, just announce on the platform "O'Hare- [or Midway-] bound riders, please board the forward-most car."

How about externally quiet CTA cars? That's more of a disturbing noise.

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