The CTA Guide For Dummies: Learn how to ride like a true Chicagoan
Start writing a post
Student Life

The CTA Guide For Dummies: Learn how to ride like a true Chicagoan

The ultimate guide on learning how to navigate Chicago with the CTA

51
The CTA Guide For Dummies: Learn how to ride like a true Chicagoan

So you've just moved to Chicago or are visiting the city for a day as a suburbanite or tourist. Every person should know that Chicago has an ample amount of public transit unlike LA and is easy to get around Chicago thanks to the Chicago Public Transit Authority (CTA). The CTA has many buses that are numbered and train lines that are color coded. Many of the trains are elevated and all meet in downtown Chicago which is called the Loop. With that being said, many people new to city life need to learn how to navigate the cities like a true Chicagoan. Here are some tips on what you should and should not do while on the CTA:

1. The CTA trains are referred to as the EL NOT the subway

Chicago is not like New York. Since most of the trains run above ground Chicagoans refer the trains as the EL which is a short abbreviation for elevated.

2. Allow passangers to get off the train and bus first

Here is some proper public transit etiquette you need to learn. It is just like riding the elevator. Especially during rush hour it is important when that bus or train is approaching the station to let others get off first and not keep traffic from being clogged.

3. Stand to the right and walk on the left for the escalators

One other public transit etiquette tip is when riding the escalators stand to the right to allow those who want to walk to do so on the left side. If you don't follow this rule you will be critisized and frowned upon by your fellow Chicagoans.

Stop adding to the negative stereotypes of certain train and buses

Many people who are not even from Chicago may think that the red line is bad or dangerous or that many homeless people live on the trains. A true Chicagoan will not partake in any of these negative comments and stereotypes and will use their street smart on ALL trains and bus lines.

Let the children and elderly sit if the train or bus is crowded

Be a generous person and give up your seat if you are able to stand on that crowded bus or train. There are rails to help keep your balance.

Be ready to tap your Ventra card or pay your fee before entering the bus

Since the bus is different than the train since each person must wait for each individual rider getting on to pay before entering the bus, just be ready. Chicagoans will get annoyed if a person is scrambling to look for their money or card in their purse or wallet and it is keeping people from getting to their destinations.

Don't take up two seats on the train or bus

You did not pay for yourself to get two seats so keep that in mind! Don't take up two seats or put your bag on the seat next to you. In fact, to be safe you must have your bag on your lap. Don't be that jerk who takes up two seats when many people are left standing.

Don't even think about bringing your bike on the train or bus during rush hour

It is a rule listed on the CTA's website that bringing bikes are prohibited on trains and buses during rush hour periods. With everybody packed tight like sardines, there would be no room for that bike you are brining.

Mind your hygiene

There is that nasty smell many Chicagoans can identify on the red line in Wrigleyville, the smell of beer and body odor. The Cubs game has ended. When it is baseball season and when drunk suburbanites come flocking back on the train back from their game in crowds it is truly irritating. So be sure to pack that extra stick of deodorant and be mindful to others.

Refrain from having loud conversations; talk softly and quietly

Be mindful to others who are listening to music or want some peace and quiet after their long day of school or work. Loud conversations are frowned upon and nobody wants to know your business.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

The patriots of the American Revolution aren't the only ones who gave us the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

253
10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

Independence Day is almost upon us, which means that for most Americans, it'll be time to bust out the lawn chairs and grills, gather around family and friends, and praise our history through patriotic garb and grand fireworks displays. It's the one day of the year where everyone forgets their political biases or historic inaccuracies, at least for a while, to look back on the hazy, illustrious history of the United States.

But, while we celebrate what people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry did for this country, they are not the only ones who embodied the very virtues that our nation loves to advocate for. This Fourth of July, here are ten American women who history tends to forget, despite the groundbreaking things they did for their country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

13 Ways Barbie Movies Shaped My Childhood

My childhood would not have been the same without them.

7400
Taylor Hawk

Barbie movies were a huge part of my childhood. I mean huge. If you are like me, I welcome you to take a healthy dose of nostalgia as I explain how Barbie movies shaped my childhood. The movies...

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Pride Doesn't End With June

Here's seven ways you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community after pride month ends.

8934
Pride Doesn't End With June
Photo by Sara Rampazzo on Unsplash

As July begins, the month we call 'Pride Month' is technically over. However, just because pride month is over doesn't mean we can't still show pride and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. This article here will tell you seven ways to be a supportive ally to the LGBTQ+ all year round.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

My 4th Of July Look

MISS SWISS - Glamour On The Go

7289
My 4th Of July Look

Whether I can get to the beach this weekend or I'm just at a friend's pool, I know I'll be picture ready. Fourth of July weekend following so close behind Pennsylvania lifting the state mask mandate has me anticipating many smiling faces, eager to capture the moment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me

When i die spread my ashes at the Bubba Gump at Citywalk

5243
Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me
Hailey Hastings via Canva

First and foremost, I am a foodie. In any city that I am in, the first thing I want to know is where the best places to eat and drink are, and I imagine a lot of you are the same. Los Angeles happens to be one of the greatest food cities in the United States, so it's only right that I present you guys with this list. These are the best places (that I have tried) in Los Angeles to eat or drink.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments