The Do's and Don'ts of Riding the CTA

If you live in the city, work in the city, or just are in the city, there is 100% chance that you will use public transportation at least once in your lifetime. Even though there isn’t a list of rules stated on what you can and cannot do on public transportation, you know what you can’t do. For all of you non-city slickers out there that don’t know what to do on public transportation, I’ll give you a quick guideline of the do’s and don’ts of riding the CTA. Those of you that are still confused, CTA stands for Chicago Transit Authority, I’m giving you the rules of the buses and trains.

Do: Give up your seat to someone who needs it more.

Don’t: Lay across four seats, especially when people are standing.

Do: Move out of the way so people on the train/bus can get off at the stop before you get on.

Don’t: Push through the people trying to get off before they can.

Do: Move to one side of the escalator so people can walk up it while you stand in one place.

Don’t: Stand in the middle of the escalator with both hands on each railing.

Do: Walk down one side of the stairs.


Do: Hold on to a pole or handle while standing on the CTA so you don’t fall

Don’t: Attempt to do tricks and flips as if you are a stripper on a pole trying to get that money.

Do: Listen to music with your headphones in.

Don’t: Try and show your rapping skills to a crowded train because you will end up spitting on at least one person.

Do: Keep to yourself.

Don’t: Grab the hand of the nearest stranger and ask them to run away with you (unless they are really cute).

Do: Say thank you to the driver.

Don’t: Tell the driver that you could do a way better job than them, because if you do, they will get out of their seat and say, “Prove it”. You have to commit after that, so I hope you know how to drive a bus or train.

Do: Press the button or pull the cord to alert the driver that your bus stop is next.

Don’t: Attempt to jump out the moving bus like that one guy you saw in that one action movie.

Do: Help the woman who just got her wallet stolen.

Don’t: Help the robber and steal her cellphone too.

Do: Know when the bus or train will arrive at your stop.

Don’t: Arrive two days early just to make sure you won’t miss your bus or train.

Do: Be aware of your surroundings.

Don’t: Spin around in circles really fast with your arms out like a helicopter to make sure no one is in your area.

Do: Smile at the baby that waved at you.

Don’t: Take it as an invitation to start street fighting it.

Do: Buy a Ventra Pass so you can swipe it when you get on the bus or train station.

Don’t: Fumble with your change every time and say, “Darn change, I should really get a Ventra Pass”.

Do: Go through the turnstile after the sign says enter.

Don’t: Try and push the turnstile as hard as you can when it clearly isn’t moving.

Do: Apologize if you step on someone’s foot.

Don’t: Grab their foot and kiss the top of it while whispering, “I would never ever do that to you. It was an accident. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me”.

Do: Ignore that man that is staring at you while he eats his mashed potatoes.

Don’t: Pull out the gravy from your bag and start eating it as a form of establishing dominance of the situation.

Do: Be aware if someone is making you uncomfortable. Alert a worker, or get off at the next safe stop.

Don’t: Buy the magic beans from Dave. They are normal beans. He’s crazy.

As long as you follow these rules, your time on the CTA will be a breeze.