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How to Be Good

(page 1 of 4)

HOW NOT TO BE A JERK, PART 1: Follow these tips for eradicating bad behavior on the el

Thanks to KEVIN O'NEIL, founding blogger of ctatattler.com, and many longtime el riders

>> No loud sighs and death stares. It’s not your fellow passenger’s fault that the CTA is running late. Your complaints do not make the ride easier for anyone.

>> Breath control. Particularly if you’re tall. “My biggest pet peeve is when somebody taller than me is exhaling out of their mouth, literally breathing down my neck,” notes a twice-daily rider who stands five feet eight. “I have almost gotten into a fight over this because I asked a dude to breathe through his nose.”

>> Backpackers, beware. On a crowded train, an average-size rider with a full backpack takes up twice as much space and reliably blocks access to the middle of the car. On any train, a backpacker who stands and can’t keep his balance turns into a battering ram. Take your pack off, pretty please, and put it between your feet.

>> That’s a handrail, not a headrest. The metal bar on the back of your seat, just above your shoulders, is supposed to give your fellow rider something to hold on to. Likewise, the long floor-to-ceiling rails are meant for hands. So don’t lean your entire body against them.

>> Get ready in your own bathroom. Do not cut your nails, apply makeup, or brush your hair on the CTA. Grooming of any sort is in bad taste.

>> No “butt pivots.” Passengers sitting in the aisle seat should stand, step into the aisle, and allow the inside passenger to pass. No matter how thin or agile someone looks, it’s never easy to exit past a rider who only swivels his legs into the aisle. 

>> No selfish reading. When the train is jam-packed, do you really need to take up precious space by reading the newspaper, flapping and folding it back and forth like you’re sitting in an easy chair?

>> Eager beavers alert. There’s no need to push your way to the door w-a-a-a-a-y before your stop, especially if it’s a stop everyone gets out at anyway.

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