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Breaking Down The CTA Public Service Announcements, Part I

CTA public service announcements — they’re there, but do they really need to be there? In most cases, yes, because people don’t know how riding a goddamn train or a bus works. In a series of PSA’s, the City of Chicago has created  one of the oddest campaigns in history. So, we put on our journalism hats on and tried to answer the question: What in the hell do all these mean?

Don’t hold the doors:

The ad’s first words: “Whoa, Nelly!” — that made us a bit skeptical off the bat, but that skepticism deepens when we look, well, a bit deeper. Why is everyone forming a semi-circle around the door? If we assume they are, it’s also safe to assume they all saw this man trying to make the train car and are still giving him fucking looks for trying to hop on a nearly-empty car. Unbelievable.

Loud cell phone talking:


Let’s take a few looks around here. What’s this guy looking at?

It’s not the girl on her cellphone…line of vision shows he’s looking like a bird at something near the door. The worst part of all this is that we’ll probably never know what causes a face to look like this. 

Also, we’re not entirely sure if this guy below is supposed to be in the photo.

We’re taking the long bet and saying he’s hungover and he’s about to hurl on everyone else here and the crew couldn’t get him to move. 

And, finally, we just feel bad for this guy. 


If cell phone is talking loud enough for an old man with a hearing aid to grab his ear, something’s up. Quiet in front! 

Don’t put bags on seats:


This PSA is downright adorable. We like to imagine this lil’ leather satchel waiting in line at the Ventra station to fill up his card, taking the stairs down to the platform and strutting its way to a seat. Hey, a bag goes to work like the rest of us — why can it have a seat after a long day at work? Aww, here, have my seat buddy. 

Don’t play loud music:


We’re going to ignore the boombox, and skip right on over to this guy. 

Bad photoshopped hat-getting-blown-away aside, this old man is getting earfucked by loud noises again. AGAIN. For the love of God, can we give this man some ear plugs or something? 

Don’t litter: 

OK, what in the fucking fuck is going on. Know that feeling when you’ve had a long day, you’ve been waiting ages for a train, and all you want to do is be alone? And then the train arrives, there’s an empty car, and you think you’ve struck gold, but it’s full of yellowish puke and piss? This is that shit times ten, and, for some reason, even a PSA that lives in a fictitious Chicago on the internet and the top banners of trains does not sit well with us. 

Part II will be here soon, but, in the meantime, look a little closer at these PSAs when you see them. 

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