Packing up my things from Madison, WI, moving in with my parents in the ‘burbs, and starting work downtown in October, I’ve now been commuting for three solid months. I’ve experienced late trains, figured out the best schedule for my hours, and had one or two scary moments prompting me to purchase some pepper spray.
Throughout it all, I’ve spent many an hour people watching. For your reading pleasure, I’ve managed to list the travelers into five top categories. Behold the top five types of Metra commuters!
5. The Sleepers
These men and women always fascinate me. They have the ability to sleep with their monthly pass in full view for the conductor, not drool, and wake up at the end of the line fully refreshed. What the hell.
4. The “Still Getting Ready” Travelers
Honestly, I think I’ve picked up a few make-up application tips from watching these girls. And, not admitting or denying I’ve been such a traveler, I have to say you do not realize how bumpy a train ride is until you try applying mascara en route.
3. The Afternoon Party Crowd
The first time I saw people cracking open beers on the evening train, I was shocked when the conductor didn’t even give them a second glance. Turns out, it’s completely legal and normal to drink on the Metra.
I’ve also learned the Afternoon Party Crowd takes it up a notch on Fridays.
2. The Carrying Weird Items Passengers
I’ve brought home a frozen turkey. I’ve carried a rolled up rug. I’ve seen people carry laundry baskets filled with folded up clothes (thankfully clean). Crazy amounts of luggage. Plants, presents, and full meals meant to consume during the commute.
Essentially, if you don’t travel by car, you’re forced to carry it with you. And everyone sees.
1. The Runners
We all know I’ve been here. Running from my car in the morning to get over the center track before the train comes barreling through, or running through Ogilvie after work because my bus ran late. The first time I ran, I felt foolish. Later, I realized I see someone sprinting at least twice per day. It’s just another workout.