Please move to the rear


Via this Tumblr, I found Aaron Kraus’s posters from the Courteous Transit Authority, a play on the CTA acronym, to encourage bus riders to move to the back. Well, not encourage so much as making moving to the rear of a bus sound like an adventure. Kraus, a visual designer for Roundarch, published the first poster (above) in December 2010. He created a new version (below) while updating his design portfolio.


I emailed Kraus to ask why he created these images. He’s been riding Chicago Transit Authority buses since moving to Chicago in 2006, and the 66/Chicago bus for two years. He explains:

They were created because I was tired of riding the bus with people who never seemed to walk to the back of the bus. I wish they had a more compelling origin story but that’s it. All in all, the 66 Chicago bus is a huge source of inspiration for me.

Thank you, Aaron, for trying to make transit a little more whimsical but also more efficient. Visit Kraus’s website. Oh, there’s one more poster in the collection, but it’s not family friendly (probably still safe for work, though).

10 thoughts on “Please move to the rear”

    1.  The CTA addressed this and other issues in their sort-of-lame “Don’t be Jack” campaign using stick figures to portray rude behavior. The campaign would have been funnier if they could have emulated the popular t-shirt design and had their ads say, “Don’t be a D—.”

  1. We need these in Portland on TriMet! Most of the regular commuters get how it should work but more casual/infrequent transit riders seem to forget that busses and trains fill up fast.

    Just yesterday I was squeezed against the side by a pack of people standing at the front of the bus despite an abundance of seats in the rear of the vehicle.

  2. This may not seem a big deal, until you are n a bus and have to fight the crowd gathered at the front of the bus. I have actually seen bus drivers stop the bus and stand up to address the passengers about moving back. Another poster idea might be for the people that don’t understand that they should give up their seats for the elderly.

  3. This drives me crazy.  I take a crowded bus route, and they won’t let more people on if there is no more space in the front, so I’ve been left behind and forced to wait 20 minutes for the next bus because people are clustered up front and there’s no room to get on.  Once we were shouting, “there is room, make them move to the back!” and the driver closed the door and left us there.

  4. There is something about Chicago transit that makes people avoid the straps mid-row and in the back. People congregate near the doors to hang onto the support poles. In New York the term “straphanger” is literally synonymous with public transit rider and there is more of a culture of moving to the back to make room. The new series of L-car is set up for more for straphanging/standing and less for sitting (to accommodate more riders) but that doesn’t do any good if the riders still hang off the poles by the doors. Chicago needs to develop some standing etiquette for full buses and train cars. It’s like there is a binary mentality of “Cool I Have a Seat / Oh Crap I’m Stuck Standing” and there is no acknowledgment that the mode you are riding in is DESIGNED for standing.

    1. It would help if the bus drivers wouldn’t accelerate and brake so hard, making it tougher to stay on your feet if  you’re not hanging onto a pole.  I don’t know how much of this is due to each driver’s habits and how much is due to bus maintenance  issues, but I think it’s a significant factor in this problem.  I see some of this with CTA trains, but it’s not as strong a factor due to less frequent stops and lack of potholes – except on the red line south of 35th, where it can sometimes be tough to stay on your feet due to track conditions.

      The ride on NYC trains is a LOT smoother, at least on the trips I’ve taken.  Staying upright and uninjured on our trains should NOT be a test of upper body strength and conditioning.

      BTW, I do move back and have asked others to move back on many occasions. I have also suffered minor injuries when the bus or train I was riding on lurched an extreme amount and I strained one or more upper body muscles. Not fun.

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