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Chicago Public Transit with a bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by oliebrice, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    does anyone here travel on buses or trains in Chicago with a double bass? is it doable?

    I'm in Chicago for a month, and will be hiring a bass. I do it in London all the time, so i'm quite used to schlepping a bass on and off public transport, but wondering if anyone does here

    also, are there minicabs/taxis that fit a bass?

  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I don't use pub trans with my bass, but if you are used to it in London, I don't see why you would have any special problems here. There are stairs up and down, swing arm gates on the subway and el, and rush hours would best be avoided. The Metra train line would be the most comfortable if it happens to work logistically for you. Will you need to make a regular trip somewhere?

    There are some minivan cabs and other hatch backs these days, the challenge will be getting one when you need it. I waited almost an hour in NYC before I could flag down an empty one.
  3. isolated

    isolated Zenji Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Bronx, NY
    I found public transit in Chicago not at all bass-friendly. The cars on the El are tiny compared to New York or London, and the busses are usually too crowded and/or sporadic to be a good option. Neither train nor bus will get you "anywhere you want to go;" however, if you are close to the train, it's the better of the two. I had a car most of the time I lived there, and it seems to be a necessity, especially if you're a bass player.

    BUT if you're only going to be there for a month, you can probably deal with it. Just give yourself plenty of time to get where you're going.
  4. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    thanks for the quick replies - sounds like it mgiht be tricky...
  5. isolated

    isolated Zenji Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Bronx, NY
    It is. Maybe somebody else will chime in and say otherwise, though....
  6. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    El Train turns out to be fine with a bass, no problems. Think the buses are too small though...
  7. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I've done it, but it was a colossal PITA. I schlepped a bass on the El once bc I absolutely had to, but it ain't easy - and especially when it's crowded.
  8. isolated

    isolated Zenji Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Bronx, NY
    Really? Even with the seats configured the way they are and no room in the aisles? That's encouraging. Glad that worked out for you!
  9. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    yeah, seemed fine. Could see it'd be a problem in rush hour, but it's always worth trying to avoid the combination of basses and rush hour public transport...
  10. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    I live here, you may have trouble on the busses, but you should be just fine on the trains. Just try to avoid rush hour (heading south... leave before 8:00 am or after 9:30 am - heading north... leave before 4:40 or after 6:00).

    Who knows, you might be able to make some extra change on the el platform if you bust it out and make it sing.
  11. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I have a Shen that a 1/2. I'm an electric player but size does matter.

    Enjoy your stay.

    25 or 6 to four. Chicago Transit.

    I had to do that.

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