I take the El to and from work every day, and mostly, I like it.
I can read, I can be half-asleep, and I don’t generally end up getting too psychotic towards my fellow commuters.
The only problem is that when I leave work anytime between about 4:46pm and 5:30pm, the trains that come are so crowded that I would have done better to stay at the office for another half hour.
I don’t get as mad about this as I would about sitting on the Dan Ryan for 20 minutes and moving about three inches, as I would if I drove, but it still kind of pisses me off to see train after train after train, packed with people by the doors.
The middle is sometimes packed too, but occasionally, there’s just an impenetrable blob by the doors while the middle of the car remains relatively open. This violates many tenets of commuting courtesy, but whatever.
I think we just need the people from Tokyo’s subway system that literally shove as many commuters onto the train as they can get before the doors close. Chicagoans, I think, might be a bit more agitated towards this idea, but at least it’d get people on the damn train.
This plan might hit a snag in the high likleihood of Chicago residents shoving back and having someone end up on the tracks. But if you’ve ever seen While You Were Sleeping, you know if you fall onto El tracks, you won’t get immediately electrocuted, and will instead be rescued by a gallant Sandra Bullock.
Which might actually be an incentive for some. No one that’s seen Hope Floats, but for the many legions of people that are blissfully unaware of that atrocity, the prospect of being rescued by Sandra Bullock might be cool.
And then I could actually get on the damn train and get home before the 6pm Simpsons.