The April issue of Metra's On the Bi-Level reports on a survey of passengers, asked inter alia to identify up to five reasons for riding the scoots and dinkies.  Top response, in 27% of the surveys, "Avoid road congestion."  Not surprising, given the perpetually-congested state of Chicago area roads.  Next, "Convenience," at 13%.  "Can work/read/nap" and "less stress" tied at 8%.  "Social time" was an option, cited by less than 1% of the respondents.  (The survey didn't offer "antisocial time," something that would likely appeal to  regular readers of the Sound Off gripe column).

The last publicly available bar cars came off some years ago.  Apart from the few relics still using the last subscription parlor car on the old Chicago and North Western, there's no opportunity to mingle and imbibe.  It's all bring your own.

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