CTA seating survey suggests gravity-defying configuration

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Gee, Chicago Transit Authority, thanks for asking.

But are you really proposing to have people defy gravity in the next generation of CTA rail cars?

The CTA's been under fire because its latest batch of new cars features inward-facing benches with scooped-out "bucket-style" seating that means overweight people who take up a seat-and-a-half effectively take up two seats -- because few people want to sit on the bump between seats.

To its credit, the CTA's emailing riders a survey this week asking whether they prefer the new bucket benches (which allow more space for customers to stand when cars are packed); the older forward- and rear-facing seating; or a "varying seating configuration," not fully explained and tough to understand in the picture.

CTA survey on iPhoneThe varying configuration is especially confusing because, unlike the other illustrations included with the questions, its photo is presented (at least on the screen of an iPhone, which many CTA commuters will use to take the survey) ... sideways. Which makes it seem you'd need Velcro pants to stay put.

The CTA survey, which you can see here, also puzzlingly sets up a dichotomy between the fabric-covered bucket-style seats of its new cars and plastic only non-scooped benches, without fabric. Why not an option for a flat bench, covered with fabric?

So: Plaudits for asking what your riders prefer, CTA. But send this poll back to the workshop.

1 comment:

OneLegUp said...

Very funny Charlie. Being a former government PR person, it's pretty embarrassing to send out a doc with this mistake. Looks like it was sent without having anyone review it in its entirety!