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6 other courtesies that should be included in the new CTA campaign

Written by
Chris Bourg

The CTA has announced a new campaign to address common passenger complaints about various misbehaviors and faux pas that occur on public transit. On Wednesday morning, the CTA unveiled 13 ads that address issues ranging from littering to people who play loud music over phone speakers. While these ads confront many of the complaints passengers have about their CTA experience, there's still a few other issues left unaddressed:

Have your bus fare ready before boarding: Having your money or Ventra card ready before getting on the bus allows for a quick, smooth boarding process and saves everyone a lot of time. Don't dig through your pockets looking for bus fare at the front of the boarding line when you could have done so in the 10 minutes you were sitting around at the bus stop.

Don't flirt with other passengers: The CTA is not OkCupid on wheels. It doesn't matter how suave or charming you think you are. Nobody on the train wants to talk to you, and they certainly won't be receptive to your romantic gestures. If you see a cute person on the train, just accept the fact you will never have a chance with them unless you see them out somewhere else. It will spare them the harassment of you trying to hit on them and spare yourself the embarrassment of getting shut down or pepper sprayed in the face.

Don't bring large luggage during rush hour: The CTA’s new campaign addresses people who place their bags down on separate seats, but I want to expand on that. Bringing baggage the size of another person on the CTA during rush hour ranks up near the top of the list of most ignorant public transit behaviors. Space is a precious commodity during rush hour and if you decide to bring your golf clubs on the L instead of a taxi, I can assure you someone will grab a club out of your bag and drive you off the train with it.

If you're drunk, keep it together: This is a special message for certain Red Line passengers during baseball season. You will likely have to share a train with commuters coming home from a long day of work on your way to or from a Cubs or Sox game. Out of respect for these weary travelers, try to act like a normal human being for the brief time you're on the train. You have an entire 9-inning ballgame to act like a degenerate, so I don't think feigning maturity and responsibility alongside your fellow Red Line passengers is asking a whole lot.

Ask for help with the Ventra vending machine: The Ventra vending machine can be difficult to operate if you don't use it very often. However, as with the law, ignorance is not a defense when your inability to work the machines holds up the line behind you and prevents everyone from getting home sooner. CTA employees may not be known for their friendly customer service, but they'll gladly help you with any trouble you’re having with the vending machine to keep the lines flowing. Don't be afraid to ask, the workers won't bite—they only look like they will.

Try to smell decent before boarding: Having good personal hygiene is a good rule for life in general, but it's especially important when you're in close quarters with other passengers on a bus or train. The CTA smells bad enough as it is, we don't need your B.O. stinking up the joint even more. And for god's sake, don't belch or fart, either. That's just rude.

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