The Path Most Traveled, a Look at Chicago Transit

September 19, 2010

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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost*

Frost took the road less traveled. I, on the other hand, join 1.66 million** Chicagoland residents using public transportation. If the path traveled makes all the difference, what does that say about those of us who find ourselves fighting for a seat on the “L” each and every day? 

I am new to the public transportation scene, and I often find myself giving directions to people when I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. I’m directionally challenged to say the least. A recent effort: “I think if you take the red line (which runs from Northwestern), transfer to the yellow line (don’t know the exact stop yet), and stop at Skokie Swift, I will be able to pick you up with no problem (although I still have to figure out where Skokie Swift is)….”

 Why is it that learning the language of a new place even affects the way you give directions? Two years ago, I would have said, “a red what?” Now, someone could mention a line matching any color in the rainbow, and I would know they mean their public transportation route.

 Though the learning curve can be sharp, and at times, slow, I am learning how to navigate the city using public transportation, so maybe the paths you take do make a difference after all. And what can be said about those of us fighting for a seat on the “L”? Well, I will have to get back to you on that…I have a train to catch.


Word of the Week: Direction

Word to the Wise: “This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.'”  Isaiah 48:17


Disclaimer: The directions in this blog will not actually get you from Northwestern to Skokie Swift. I have since corrected my recommendations on public transportation…like I said, it can be a slow learning curve sometimes.


*Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” Poetry Foundation. Web. 4 Sep. 2010. <;.
**“CTA Facts at a Glance.” Chicago Transit Authority, March 2010. Web. 4 Sep. 2010. <;.


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