It’s the end of the line for Tran­sit Diaries

Red Eye Chicago - - The Chatter - Rianne Coale

You know what they say: All good things must come to an end. And Tran­sit Diaries has reached its fi­nal stop. This will be my last col­umn as your trans­porta­tion re­porter and the end of this weekly se­ries for Red­Eye.

I feel very grate­ful to have had the op­por­tu­nity to be the voice of the (of­ten­times dis­grun­tled) Chicago com­muter. And I can hon­estly say that it’s been quite the jour­ney, per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally.

If you’re sad, don’t be. It’s been in­cred­i­bly ful­fill­ing to be your source of laugh­ter and guid­ance on all things Chicago tran­sit, and my only hope is that you’ve learned some­thing of value about the trans­porta­tion you take daily. Mov­ing for­ward, I’m en­trust­ing you to call out the back­pack-wear­ing, man-spread­ing, es­ca­la­tor-block­ing ass-hats we en­counter.

Here’s just a sam­pling of ad­vice I’ve given over the course of this col­umn.

Es­ca­la­tors Stand on the right, walk on the left. WHY is that so hard to ex­e­cute?


El­e­va­tors If you’re the only one in the el­e­va­tor, hold the door. If there are a few of you, use your dis­cre­tion. And if it’s full, just let the doors close and sym­pa­thet­i­cally shrug “Sorry” to the per­son who missed it.


Air­port/air­plane DO NOT BRING SMELLY-ASS FOOD on an air­plane. En­joy your tuna or curry or sauerkraut else­where—prefer­ably far away from the con­fines of an air­craft. Star­ing hope­fully at the open­ing of the lug­gage carousel while block­ing ev­ery­one’s view will not make your bag come any faster.


Divvy/bikes Don’t ride on the side­walks. What, you can’t seem to pedal and ma­neu­ver your enor­mous Divvy bike with ease on a busy, crowded Chicago side­walk? I won­der why.


In an emer­gency ... The two most im­por­tant things to re­mem­ber to do: Stay calm and im­me­di­ately dial 911.


Driv­ing/park­ing Does it re­ally take that much ef­fort to pull your ve­hi­cle up to the start of the park­ing zone? When you leave more than a few feet of space be­tween the nose of your car and the sign, you cre­ate a domino ef­fect for ev­ery­one park­ing be­hind you. If those few ex­tra feet were sub­tracted, I’m guess­ing two or three more cars could fit. Be­cause math.


Walk­ing Jay­walk­ers are the type to take the path less trav­eled, errr, make their own path by re­fus­ing to use cross­walks or fol­low traf­fic sig­nals. If you feel con­fi­dent hop­ping through traf­fic like a frog across a lily pond, by all means, don’t.


CTA TAKE OFF YOUR BACK­PACK. PUT IT AT/ON/NEAR YOUR FEET. Lit­er­ally ANY­WHERE would be bet­ter than leav­ing it on your back, ex­cept maybe leav­ing it on the seat next to you. If a per­son who is el­derly or has a dis­abil­ity gets on your bus or train car and you’re sit­ting down, do the cour­te­ous thing and of­fer up your seat. We, too, may one day need that seat.


Here’s an idea: Rather than cre­ate a wall of hu­man flesh around the con­veyor belt, why not take a few steps back (or five) so we can all see the beat-up lug­gage comin’ around?

Thank you all for tak­ing this crazy ride with me. Bon voy­age!


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