So, Remind Me Again Why Mass Transit Is So GREAT!?

Background Reading


You might have seen NYC’s recent courtesy campaign that features subway etiquette ads like “Poles Are For Your Safety, Not Your Latest Routine” and “Keep Your Stuff To Yourself”.

Art director Chad O’Connell from Brooklyn, New York, has decided to make them even better by featuring the more absurd things that people actually do on the subway.

Similar to the funny Subway Dictionary we wrote about previously, the posters from O’Connell’s ‘Crucial Courtesies’ campaign features subway etiquette that are inspired by real events.

With blunt messages like “Don’t Be A Butt Pole” and “Keep Your Shit To Yourself”, O’Connell’s posters are much more entertaining to look at while you’re in the subway.

Check them out below, or head here to view the full set.


Having lived in Chicago for the first third of my life (until going to college) I can relate to some of the images in this series. They are ‘funny‘ only after you have been through these situations and are able to reflect on them at a safe distance. But frankly riding Mass Transit is not something you really want to do unless you have to.

During Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago you really have to schedule your use of Metra so as to avoid the crowds. This sort of controlled chaos seems ‘cool‘ if you are the casual teenaged observer who has come to see anarchy as ‘neat‘. But the poor conductors who have to deal with the sea of humanity acting out his worst fears must dread these periods. I know that most of the conductors with seniority find reasons to ‘take a vacation‘ leaving the less experienced guys to deal with the mess.

Let’s face it ATA has its job cut out for it in trying to convince all but the mentally incompetent that Mass Transit is to be preferred over driving your car. No traffic jam is worse than being on a train car full of drunks returning from the city who are throwing up all over themselves and each other and making their way towards your seat, but the train is stalled because of ‘mechanical issues‘.

No traffic jam on the highways surrounding Chicago is anywhere near as frustrating as being on a Metra train that has hit a pedestrian cyclist or automobile and the train is both between stations (so the passenger cannot debark) and the entire train is made to wait for the coroner to arrive. One passenger reported having to wait nearly 4 hours! Sweet!

Gimme more Mass Transit! I wanna volunteer to take it only during the drinking holidays! Yeah!