Conquering My Fear of Public Transportation

Moving to Chicago I had one concern: public transportation.

When I realized I was going to have to take the bus/train to get anywhere, I seriously did the math to see if I could afford to Lyft to work every day (I can’t). I basically had to learn how to face my fears, and now I’m (humble brag) an expert at public transportation.

I have organized my fears for each type of public transportation below.


There is a bus stop right outside my front door that runs express (doesn’t make any stops) to my work, which is as good as it can get. I, however, was a disaster trying to figure out when to pull the cord to make it stop. For the first few weeks I would honestly just pray someone else had to get off at the same stop as me, and if nobody did I’d ride the bus until someone else pulled the cord, and I’d walk the missed distance.


I know a train can only go two ways, so I don’t even know how to explain my confusion with this one.

*An actual cab*

First of all, how do you hail a cab without looking like a complete freak? It’s so much easier to request a car with my phone and not have to cause a scene (until I get in the wrong Uber because every Uber driver has the same car). Also, cab drivers here are actually the scariest drivers in the entire world and I have to keep my eyes closed the entire time. The first time I had to hail a cab I felt SO glamorous until the second time came around and the cab driver wouldn’t pull to the side of the road so I had to run into the middle of State Street with four different boxes for work.

*Other little public transportations fears/observations*

  • What if I can’t push through the crowd of people on the bus/train to get off in time
  • Everyone reads on public transportation, but how is this girl holding a book while standing in a sea of people and balancing at the same time? I doubt you’re even reading that book, you just want to look sophisticated (same).
  • I hate when an older person gets on and I’m sitting and they’re standing because I don’t want to offer up my seat and make them feel old but also they are old and should probably be sitting.
  • ^ Same goes for girls when I can’t tell if they’re pregnant or not.
  • How gross is my outfit right now after sitting in a chair that has probably never been cleaned in all of eternity.
  • I just pushed someone out of the way to get to the train in time but now I missed it and I have to stand next to them for ten minutes.
  • It is cold outside, so I bundle, but I can’t take my bundling (is that a word) off so now I am profusely sweating all of my makeup off, soaked through my clothes, walk back outside and now I am cold again.

*Advice to future public transportationers*

Whatever the maps app that comes on your iPhone is? That’s your new bible, congrats! Also, practice makes perfect.



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