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Whether you’re taking the red line home from work or cruising the blue line for your Big Star fix, you’re sure to encounter them. You know: the overzealous festivalgoer, the loud and proud Cubs fan, the person who’s totally mystified by the Ventra card (yes, still)… Here are the nine types of people who populate every. Single. “L.” Train.


The Ventra Card Newbie

With little to no idea about how the Ventra card works, this person spends minutes at a time mulling over options at the CTA machine. This is not a mortgage down payment. Pick a fare and go with it. (The single-ride option, at $2.50, should be buyer’s-remorse free.)


The Catatonic Boarder

Take your time. No, really, take your time. Walk as slowly as possible into the train, forming a near mosh pit behind you as the doors swiftly begin to close.


The Dreamer

Sleepier still than the Catatonic Boarder? That one passenger who’s always inexplicably, peacefully asleep. Doesn’t he ever miss his stop? What’s he dreaming about? So many questions.


The Cubs Enthusiast

Whether it’s game day or not, and whether your train is headed to anywhere near Wrigley Field or not, it’s inevitable: Someone, in some seat, will be sporting head-to-toe Cubs gear. (That no-hitter was pretty sweet, though.)


The Festival Die-Hard

Cool. You’ve been to Lollapalooza/Chicago Gourmet/take-your-pick hot festival, and you’ve got an arm full of wristbands and a sweet souvenir tee to show for it. But if you’re still wearing your Lolla pass the Monday after the festival wraps, we have nothing to say to you.


The Reader

In a sea of iPad and iPhone clackers, this person holds a relic of another age: a book. Because the train is the perfect place to consume a tome like All the Light We Cannot See or The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (Bonus for the latter: Your hygiene-averse neighbor may learn something by peeking over your shoulder.)  


The Wannabe DJ

There’s always someone who finds it necessary to crank his headphones to 11 or--even worse--sing along to today’s club hits. On the train.

The Living Pinterest Board

Some of the usual “L” suspects may be in your very own inner circle. Like this friend of ours who recently outed herself on social media: “I'm on the train drinking a kale smoothie out of a mason jar. Don't worry. I hate me, too.”


The Tourist

She’s holding a map. She’s looking for Navy Pier. And she’s always, invariably and quite mysteriously, talking loudly about hitting up The Cheesecake Factory and the Crate and Barrel flagship. (Because you don’t have cheesecake and oven mitts in Kenosha?)

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