'This is Oak Park'

March 26th, 2019 2:26 PM

By Ken Trainor

Staff writer

A story from a reader that is too good not to share:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the two very thoughtful people who helped me at the East Avenue Blue Line stop. I have been taking the Blue Line from the East Avenue stop daily for over four years. I have never had a problem with my Ventra Card until last week. 

The first issue was that I forgot to put the Ventra card back in my purse after the last time I used it, so I didn't have it with me when I approached the turnstile. At the East Avenue stop, there is no CTA agent present, nor a pay machine, so the only option is to walk to Oak Park Avenue which is problematic, especially if one is running late, which I was. 

I must have been talking out loud, or my expression of exasperation was very obvious when I realized my mistake, because the person next to me told me not to worry, he would swipe me through the turnstile using his card. I was extremely grateful and asked if I could pay him the cost and he said no, "Just do it for someone else." 

Within the same week, I tapped my Ventra card at the entrance but was unable to get through the turnstile. When I tried my card again, it was rejected, with the message that the card had just been used. Once again, a wonderful person, said, "Here, I'll swipe you through." I tried to pay him the fare and he said, "Oh no, this is Oak Park, we take care of each other." 

Fellow Blue Line travelers, I hope you both see this letter and know how grateful I am to you. You are both compassionate reminders of the goodness of people. As for me, I am double-checking my purse every day before I leave the house and I am ready to swipe the next person who needs it through the turnstile. I, like Tennessee Williams, "have always depended on the kindness of strangers," so I will make sure and be that kind stranger to others.

Thank you!

Molly Riley


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