CTA Blues: Reasons Why the CTA Struggle Gets Too Real

Public transportation is a way of life in Chicago. Growing up, riding the train was the beginning of your independence. It taught you how to navigate throughout the city, what creepos to avoid, how to be observant, and pretty much how to be smart in these streets. To many,  it may seem cool riding around a big city and being among the hustle and bustle, but when you’ve been doing this almost your whole life, the shit gets old. If you’re new to the CTA, welcome, and get acquainted to the struggle. Here are the things that suck about the CTA.

Smelly train

broad city

There are times where you will be unfortunate enough to get on a pissy train. This is basically a train that smells like high-pitch piss. The smell will slap you instantly as you set foot on that train. If your reaction game is on point you should have enough time to switch cars before the doors close. If not, you better hope the next stop isn’t too far.

Smelly people


Along with a smelly train you will also encounter smelly people, this more often than a pissy train. Not talking about the occasional musty person, but that offensive, I’m dying I need to switch cars kind of smell. It’s unbelievable.

Giving up your seat

Yes, we were raised right, and we know it is common courtesy to give up your seat for the elderly and pregnant women, but DAMN, we get tired too! This may sound bad, but after a long day’s work on your feet, sitting on that bus/train can feel like the best thing in the world. We still give up our seat though.


It always seems like the times you need to be somewhere is when the bus or train wants to be late. This is really when your patience is being put to test.

The Ventra card

CTA introduced the Ventra card about a year ago and Chicagoans still can’t figure it out. It’s what we use to pay CTA fare. I would try to explain it, but I can’t.

Not having a U Pass

While on the subject of fare, what really sucks about the CTA is having to actually pay for it. There’s just something about paying that $2.50 that grinds our gears, especially when it use to be $1.75 and 85 cents back in high school. HOWEVER, the best thing in the world has to be the U Pass. It is the pass that Chicago  blesses you with when you attend a college in the city full time. You get unlimited FREE rides for the entire school year. Technically the pass comes out of your tuition but Sally Mae can worry about that. Having a U Pass felt like you had the golden ticket. It  might have been the best thing about college.

People taking up multiple seatscta

We don’t discriminate against people’s weight and understand the seats can be small for some, so we’ll direct this issue to the guys that sit spread eagle and leave us enough room for one ass cheek.

The after school let out

Don’t get caught on the train between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. because you will be stuck in a sea full of rowdy, loud, hormonal high school students. It really makes me look back and pray that we weren’t this annoying back in the day. We probably were though.

Rush hour


Good luck trying to get on the train during rush hour, especially downtown on the red line. There’s an art to pushing your way onto the train when it’s packed. Be prepared to be back to back, and face to face smushed against someone.

The iPhone DJ

It feels good to know that there are considerate people out in the world that feel like it’s their duty to provide everyone on the bus/train with tunes from their lovely phones. No. Please stop. It’s so damn annoying. And rarely is it ever a song you actually want to hear.

The new trains

These new trains are so awkward. Chicago is trying to be like New York City with these new trains, where you’re sitting face to face with someone instead of in the two seat rows. CTA did this to create more standing room in the center during rush hour, but now all you have is nothing but ass and crotch in your face when you’re seated. And when there’s no rush, you only have your feet and the ads on the walls to look at to avoid awkward eye contact with the person across from you.

Nosy people


Can we live in a world where people don’t feel like your business is their business?! Well, not on the CTA. People will not let you Instagram creep or text in peace. The only person that is allowed to peak over the shoulder and sneak a look is bae.


We included this because theft does occur on public transportation but personally, we have never had this issue or know anyone who has. *knocks on wood* Just always be smart, safe, and on guard. Don’t be a goofy or get caught lackin.

On paper this probably doesn’t sound as bad, but believe us, the struggle does get real.



Rebecca & Caity

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