|I shut down the Blue Line this morning.
||[Jan. 20th, 2009|09:58 am]
Ever wonder who these people are who cause big delays during rush hour with their problems?Today, it was me.|
Around 7:50AM I got to the California Blue Line stop just as a train was pulling in. I scampered up the stairs and got to the platform just as "doors closing" sounded. I walked quickly towards a clear set of doors and was entering - suddenly, I on the ground and couldn't breathe. I had slipped on ice at the edge of the platform, sending both feet into the air. I landed on my back, knocking the wind out of me.
I was motionless until I got my breath back then moaned and yelled fuck. People on the train were scared because I went down so hard, loud and close to the edge of the platform.
I got lucky. I didn't hit my head, I was carrying my backpack thus didn't land on it, and, most importantly, didn't fall off the platform or get wedged in the gap. I don't seem to be seriously hurt.
This wasn't what caused the massive delay. As people rushed to help me, someone pulled the emergency door open on the other side of train away from the platform. I guess this was to prevent the train from leaving if I was hurt or caught.
I got up and stumbled on to the train, assuring people I was okay. The platform was sheathed in ice. "Why is there no salt on the platform?" I said loudly, remembering as I uttered it that the CTA uses sand, not salt.
"You can't use salt, it conducts electricity," someone pointed out smugly, then someone offered me a seat and worried faces asked if I was really okay.
The doors facing away from the platform wouldn't close, so the conducter got off the train to find out what was going on. When he came onto the car people offered vague statements and pointed at me. I explained what happened.
"Are you okay? Do we need to make a report?" he asked, concerned.
I looked around at the packed train. I was now that passenger the one who had to get hurt and spoil it for everyone else.
I told him I felt okay and asked, "Why was there no sand on the platform?"
And I got the punchline:
"Hey," he said, "The CTA doesn't handle that anymore. They contract out for ice and snow cleaning, and the budget..." He gave me a significant and sympathetic look, indicating they've cut corners and it almost fucked you up, sorry.
The stuck doors were broken, but the conducter managed to wrestle them closed. The trains were delayed long enough that we went express from Damen to Grand.
When I got to work, I walked to the CTA service center off Lake to report the California platform. When I explained the situation the front desk got a customer service manager to take a report. They were sympathetic and super friendly - I suspect they were glad I wasn't angry or litigious. Supposedly a work crew will go out and de-ice the platform.