Monday, June 26, 2006
Yesterday, the Pink Line opened here in Chicago, and I celebrated with $200 worth of champagne.
Actually, not really.
I did ride the Blue Line though, just to see the difference. The moment I got into the Washington station, there was a brilliantly shiny aluminum Forest Park train waiting for me. I'd like to think this was because of the alleged expanded FP service.
Every stop, the train stayed an extra few minutes to inform people that this train was not going to 54th/Cermak, and that to catch the 54th/Cermak, people needed to ride to Clark/Lake to get on the Pink Line to 54th/Cermak. If you're wondering why I'm repeating 54th/Cermak instead of replacing it with some pronoun, my reason is to set the mood.
While on the train, I watched a group of Hispanic teenagers get on. My first thought was, shit, they got on the wrong train. Which is a terrible thought, both then and now. But as it turned out, I was right.
They needed the 54th/Cermak, but that was to be found a few stops ago on the Pink Line. Explaining the new deal with the CTA was difficult, as they refused to understand the train we were on did not go to 54th/Cermak, or that they couldn't transfer to the 54th/Cermak train at Racine. They ignored the announcements, although I expected that. The only people that listen to train announcements are white people looking busy while desperately ignoring the crippled panhandler walking down the aisles.
Eventually, the teenagers got off at Clinton. Hopefully, they got on the O'Hare like the large group of attentive CTA passengers (AKA mostly white) instructed them.