I did a round trip yesterday for Lunch with a former neighbor (kids out of HS/College; time to bail out for Streeterville) and the Symphony (would have met up with Mr. Dunville as well if he were he not off in Timbuktu) - 1262 in, 1249 back.
METRA is now about as inviting to ride as is the CTA. You wouldn't catch me near it for anything that could be called a joyride.
Every other minute, announcements "don't turn those seats for parties less than three", "keep your feet on the ground not on the seats". This insolent Ticket Clerk who, when I forgot my Senior Permit, and would not accept my Medicare card as proof I'm eligible lectured me "Now I'm going to give you a break THIS time...., but you make sure you have that next time...or else".
The vile shape CUS is presently in, I couldn't "break out of the herd", caught every light the wrong way hoofing X the Loop and was eight minutes late at The Gage (24 S. Mich). Return I guess better because I had only contact with a Conductor to lift my "obtained fraudulently" Half Rate ticket.
I can remember back to the days of the Q, the C&NW, and, if I may say, my MILW, when Chicago was considered the best in the business. Not about to extend that plaudit at this time. The whole experience resembles what one would expect from a demoralized, broke, transit agency.
But when thinking of the alternative - especially the possibility of getting a Pea Shooter aimed at you on an Expressway - I guess it is the lesser of evils.
What else can those new seats giving me vertigo add to the experience?