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Just move!

Pet peeve No. 84: People who stand in the doorway and won't let you past.

First, it's rude to stand there and block people from both leaving and entering the train car.

Second, it's rude to get huffy when I try to get by you so I'm not blocking the doorway.

The other day I was trying to squeeze past three or four people in the doorway to move into the relatively clear center of the car. You should have seen the dirty looks I got. I try to be polite and tell people "excuse me," but that doesn't help.

The other bad part of this are the folks who move about 5 feet into the car, still leaving the center open. It's almost even harder to get past them, with the row of seats on either side.



It's not just dirty looks that I get from what I like to call "In The Way People". Two weeks ago, I was taking a crowded 151 bus and was trying to squeeze past people to get off. There was some old guy screaming like a stuck pig as I tried to get past him. I kept saying, "Excuse me", but he kept screaming, "Ow!" as I squeezed past.

Even more grating are the people that stand at the ends of escalators and moving walkways. I have actually taken to pushing past them and saying either "That's not a place to stand" or "Out of the way!" It may seem rude, but some people just don't get it.

You know, it really all comes down to courtesy. The "In The Way People" want to stand in a certain place, fine. I usually stand in the door, because I get tired of shifting about the car, as well as the much more important reason of not falling over on people as the trains lurch along the Brown Line tracks! But I try to get out of the way as much as possible.

I remember one morning, I was riding the 77 Belmont bus to the Belmont station. It was a cold morning, so a lot of people were getting on the bus and the bus I was on was no exception. However, as a few people leaked off the bus, one guy decided he wanted to stand exactly where he was and not let anyone by or make any room. He camouflaged this by putting on an "I'm engrossed in my reading" front, despite looking up from time to time. So, at one stop, there are a lot of people and about enough space for 7 or 8 people beyond him. However, he continued to put on his reading front, so I called attention to him:

"Hey! Green Jacket guy! Move!"

At first he had this look of incredulity as if it were so much to ask for him to move down the aisle and even started to protest. However, the looks he was getting from me and the other patrons as well as more urging by me forced him to begrudgingly move out of the way so that we could more efficiently use the bus.

Yesterday I arrived at my normally-quiet station lobby to find it completely full. The reason? A woman was blocking one of the two turnstiles as she rifled through her bag, while her pre-teen daughter was receiving a lecture from the customer service agent while blocking the other turnstile.

The CSA let the daughter through the turnstile while Mom continued to look for her fare.

As much as I agree with the "when people ride free we all pay" I would rather a kid get a free ride than miss a day of school.

I walked through the turnstile after the daughter, got to the stairwell, and the kid stopped dead. She then turned around, looked for her mom, and continued to mosey up the stairs at a snail's pace, drifting from one side of the stairwell to the other. At least five other passengers had to dodge around her to get up the stairs. Yeesh!

Amen, brother Kevin. Amen.

I've stopped caring. My foot on their foot, my elbow in their gut, my shoulder knocking their Red Eye (which they haven't even bothered to fold and hold closer to them) out of their hands -- I move into the center when I get on and I leave when I reach my station and if they're too stupid to move out of the way, it's just Darwin in action.

Give them the obvious look when it comes close to your stop. If they continue to block the doors, just wait.....wait....wait. When it's time for you to get off the train, RUSH through like a goddammed quarterback on fire.

Then just simply keep walking. That's what I do.

Is it the trust-fund public trans n00bs going to the U of C on the #6, or is it all busses that get a huge clot of morons toward the front door? I'm to the point where I just start whipping elbows till I get to the raised area at the back, where me and two other dudes have an area bigger than my bathroom at home to stand in. There's another door back here, tools.

I've tried the elbow to the gut, the step on the foot, the newspaper trick. Though all those methods are fun, I've seen nothing to persuade me that dumbsh*ts who stand in the doorway really notice these tiny protests, as they obviously seem oblivious or selfish in the first place. I'm with Bob: Screw 'em.

What *is* the attraction of standing near the door? Do these folks *enjoy* getting jostled by other passengers walking past, through, around them at every single stop? Has *anyone* ever not been able to make it to the exit in time because they stood in the center or at the end of the car/bus?


(1) They're getting off very soon (five minutes or less) and so it's not worth the effort to move away from the doors.

(2) They are not familiar with the particular line they're traveling and aren't sure when or where to get off, so standing near the door is the best bet to avoid missing the stop.

(3) They are in a large group (four or five people) that would be unable to stay together if they moved further into the train car/bus.

Some of these reasons are more valid than others, but they all seem relatively rare to me. These circumstances would fit only a small minority of the daily rush-hour commuters. So what's going on? Any other theories or explanations?

I think this is a larger problem then the CTA realizes. Blocking doors on either the trains or busses slows down the whole system. Think of how much faster the train/bus could be underway if people didnt have to board/disembark at a snails pace, all because of this selfish "me first" behavior. NOTHING is more irritating then the person who races to board the train and procedes to stand in the doorway with the newspaper while a dozen+ people now have to board single file to fill up the center. It slows down everyones commute and reflects poorly on the clueless jackass. Yes, I've stepped on a few toes but it doesnt really seem to help. Maybe we need some of those "Dont be Jack" posters encouraging people to step all the way in.

You have no idea how much I'm feelin' you on this.


Krazee Eyez Killa

"RUSH through like a goddammed quarterback on fire"


Here's another possible explanation for why people stand by the doors on trains: it's the only place on the train where there is a vertical bar to hold.

If you move into the center of the car, you can only grab onto the bars mounted on the backs of the seats. It's often difficult to keep yourself braced and balanced while holding on to these poorly positioned bars. Also, people are of different heights, and with a vertical bar you can grab where it's most comfortable to you.

It's not much better on the buses, either. The new buses have more vertical bars to grab, at least. Older buses may have bars to grab up top, but if you're short then forget it.

Not that I crowd the doors, but as I struggle to stay upright while holding onto one of those crummy seat-back bars, I sure wish I was up there by the door where I could hold on much better.

Well I do both -- stand near the door area or go inside the train car.

Some of it depends on where I'm getting off, how many people are on the train/bus and climate. If it's too hot or stinky, I'm not gonna go toward the middle or near the source of funk and suffer.

But I do have the presence of mind to get out of people's way, as it is a door. I either step off the train, off of the bus and hold the door for them, where possible.

Don't forget that some people are claustrophobic and can't handle the jam-packed nature of transit.

But yah, people near the doors should work hard to make sure to let people on and off if they're going to stand there.

what is needed on the trains is the same system they have installed on the buses. The rubber handle grippers all along the aisle, hanging from ceiling. makes it so much easier.

also related:
A few weeks or maybe a month ago newly engaged couple get on redline at lawrence.
she flashing her new bling to herself and everybody else nearby (stupid idea)
he, just kinda following her, meekly.

the train is really packed that morning.
They shove their way through from the back door all the way down the aisle just so they might get first dibs on the side seats. The aisles are full of other commuters.

cut to end of commute:
(BTW, south door on the particular car is not opening so EVERYbody must exit the other door) We arrive at Lake. EVERYbody trying to get off and I feel a push from behind, a hand on my back continuing to "hustle" me into the back of the person in front of me, and in turn knocking him into another person etc...There are 20 or 30 people IN LINE attempting to move out the door.
Did she actually believe she could make them/us move faster by shoving me???

I bit my tongue but I turned around and gave her the nastiest of looks I could muster up without exploding.
I wanted to say:

"by the size of that rock on your hand (that you made a point to show off to everybody) you really don't need to take public transportation. I think you are obviously able to afford a taxi cab everyday, USE IT!"

There's also the people who think they can get on the bus/train while you're getting off the vehicle. So annoying, rude, and against the laws of physics--if I'm occupying the space that is in the frame of the door while trying to exit, they can't get on. And yet they try.

if someone has ridden on the L or busses enough, they know how to stay standing up without holding the rails. also, the door-crowder is many times a person holding a newspaper with two hands, not holding the rail.

regarding people trying to get on/off the trains at the same time, sometimes people get off the car way too slowly and leisurely, all the while people are wanting to get on before the damn motorman closes the door. i would say that this isnt a problem with seasoned L riders, but for many new riders people get freaked out and think the trains gonna leave them if they dont get on quickly enough.

there are those reasons and... well.... there is always the catch-all reason for most anything: people are assholes

FOREAL. This is the most annoying thing. It's one thing if the bus/train isn't crowded, and there aren't many people getting on or off. But I can't COUNT the number of times when the train has had a ton of space on the inside but a lot of people constantly getting in / out of the train. There are 40 people trying to switch places, and it takes twice as long because we're all going in single file because two suits are leaning against dividers next to the doors, trying to have a conversation. People do it because they like to lean instead of stand and hold on to a seat. Don't they realize that they're doubling stop times?

If I can't get a seat, then whenever I can, I head straight to the end of the car and stand behind the last seat or lean against the door between cars. It's about the most personal space you can have when standing since so few people ever make their way that far into the car. Then again, today an elderly Asian lady did the exact same thing and stood right next to me. The car wasn't nearly that crowded that she needed to stand that close. Plus when she held onto the seat back in front of me her hand was close to a personal area of my body. I strongly doubt she knew what she was doing, but it was still kinda creepy.

I go to work alot at 1pm and I take the Red Line from Bryn Mawr to Sheridan. I, as well as all of you, absolutely hate door blockers, but if I can't get a seat on the way to work(which is very common due to Cubs games)I just stand by the right side door, that way I don't block the doors and don't have to move because the doors open on the right at Sheridan. A win-win for everyone!!

I push...hard. If people are trying to get on the train before everyone's done getting off, I have no qualms about running them over. I dont even try to turn my body to the side. In fact, I actually firm up so that when I bump them they get whipped around. I never see their reactions, but I can imagine they're mad at ME.

Same thing goes for people who wont move out of the doorway at exits, but I give a little more leeway in that situation. I only start running people over if a) it's a really busy stop like Fullerton and b) they make absolutely no attempt to move. I absolutely clobber these people. To be honest, it's one of the few things that can brighten my train ride, heh heh.

When I step off the train and the people waiting to board won't let me through, I just step out, stop, and stand in their way. I figure that if they're not going to allow me through to get where I want to go, why should I allow them to get where they want to go?

Steve, that's great I have been known to do that sometimes....I have also been known to give elbow jabs and death stares to stupid commuters!!!

what's amazing is that there are so many of us that totally agree that you should (a) wait for the people to get off the train before you try to get on (b) move into the train car/bus as far as possible (c) not take up more than one seat (d) sit with your legs together and tucked in, instead of spread wide apart and sticking into the aisle (e)allow elderly and disabled persons and pregnant women to sit (f) move out of the doorway as other people are trying to get off (g) not throw your trash away on the floor(h) talk on your cell phone or listen to your headphones as quitely as possible, and yet, there are still so many people that can't seem to do any these things.

It seems as though quite a few of the people commenting on this page still don't do any of the courteous things you mentioned.

Mel, Mat... take into account the fact that the people who read/post on this blog make up a very small percentage of total CTA riders, and I think you have your answer. Those of us that care, that vent over this stuff... we're the ones that are here... not the ignoramuses.

Those who have mentioned that near the doors is the only really good place to hang on have a point. I'm originally from Toronto, and the cars on TTC trains have vertical bars every few feet and horizontal bars hanging from the ceiling throughout. Whenever I'm struggling to keep from falling over while standing with my arm fully extended between several other passengers to be able to reach a bar attached to a seat back that somebody else is leaning on, I remember the good old days...

I hate when theres a bunch of people getting on the bus, but the first person to get on has not got their money or bus pass in their hand. Meanwhile there are about 10 others that want to get on but everything stops because this idiot doesn't have his or her money out and is fumbling thru their bags, and still cant find it.. Why dont people learn to put their buss pass or money in a place where they can readily get it??? and if you dont have your money ready, why are you the first one to have to get on? if its to get a seat, sorry but your fumbling in your purse or bag has just cost you that seat. Dumbass people!!!!

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