The Chicago Transit Authority's new train cars went into service recently, and Chicagoans are not happy that the seating faces-in—their once scenic view of the city has been replaced by the butts and crotches of standing passengers, The Chicago Tribune's Jon Hilkevitch writes.
CTA has added more than 100 of these new cars that fit more people partly by using aisle-facing seating, so more standers can ride. While many said they liked new LED station indicator maps and a quieter ride, most emails and phone calls to Hilkevitch complained about the "most unfriendly seating imaginable," Hilkevitch writes.
"[Riders said] there is another serious cultural impact," Hilkevitch says unironically. "It's harder to enjoy the pastime of gazing at the skyline, the back porches and the streets of our great city out the window."
The Chicago train system is above-ground, and in older trains, most of the seats face forward or backward right by the windows, allowing passengers to gaze into Chicago neighborhoods during commutes. Now, horrifyingly, they must look at each other.
"I look out the window less, partly because it's farther away — now across the car instead of right next to me — and partly because I have to look right at and over the passengers across from me. Again, eeek!" one person told him.
Meanwhile, transit riders in New York and DC yawn dramatically as they look out their train windows into the blackness of underground tunnels..
Photo via cta web/flickr