My First (and Probably Last) Trip on a CTA Bus


If Mayor Daley ever has a contest to rename the city of Chicago from ‘The Windy City,’ I would like to wholeheartedly submit ‘The Friendly City.’ I love, love, love Chicago.

I came up with the name above after my first ride on a CTA bus in Chicago.

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This winter I took a bus from the L station to the United Center for the Bulls vs. Heat basketball game. I like the L, I’m FINE with the L, but I was nervous about taking a city bus. I don’t think this is out of the question when you grow up in a place where public transportation is seldom used, especially by the masses.

At any rate, a stranger sitting across from me said “Excuse me, miss,” or “ma’am” whatever – you could tell that he was brought up right, as my Mom would say. He informed me that there was a bug (some sort of beetle, I think) crawling near my boot. I know this is a tiny incident that shouldn’t even cross my mind, but I was startled at the kindness in the statement. I wasn’t concerned about the bug. If it were a wasp, the echo of my scream would still resound in the hearts of the passengers but it was just a beetle. But, never the less, this stranger across the bus from me took the time to tell me that a bug may or may not try to crawl up my boot and on to my pants at any second.

Unfortunately, after disembarking the bus, I saw an argument of epic proportions at the bus stop. It was scary enough to discourage me from waiting at that same bus stop after the game for a return trip to the L. In my defense, this was about 2 weeks after the Lima Incident so I admittedly was very skittish at the time.