Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Josh Rouse concert last night was really good.

But onto a different topic...

What's up with the Chicago subway system?? This is, without a doubt, the least user-friendly subway I've ever seen. I don't speak any French at all, but when I visited Paris I had no problem navigating their system. Here, it's a mess. Besides the fact that it makes the NY system seem clean, well-lighted, and safe -- and besides the fact that the subway maps show three lines following the same track with no indication of which stops where, two things in particular are truly bizarre:

1. It costs $1.75 for a one-way ticket. The only way to get a ticket is in a machine *that doesn't give change.* The subway attendants have no change, no tokens, nothing. There is, as far as we could determine, no way to do this without having $1.75 in exact change -- and the machine was kind of fussy with which dollar bills it would accept anyway. I mean, not a huge deal if you have 2 dollar bills and end up losing a quarter, but kind of inconvenient to go find a place on the street to get change if all you have is a twenty... and just a ridiculously unfriendly way of doing things anyway.

2. We wanted to change from the Red line to the Brown line. So we got to a stop called Lake Street, and the announcement said transfers available. Got off. No signs. Walked up the stairs at one end. Just an exit. Walked up the stairs at the other end. Just an exit. No signs at all. Went back down. Found a subway worker. She said we had to go out the exit, through the turnstiles, and then "turn and you'll see it." Maybe. We got back on the next train and just walked a couple extra blocks instead, since another train was coming and we figured it wasn't worth risking a long wait. But, I mean -- no signs?

Yeah, so the Chicago subway system gets no points with me. Sorry. Easily ranks as the worst subway system I've seen, behind 6 others I can think of having been on.