At rush hour on weekdays, el trains were so crowded that you could almost never find a seat if you got on at Uptown. Public transportation was a standing-room-only, very democratic experience. Despite the sardine feeling, I must say that I miss the CTA. I lived a block from the el and had seven bus routes outside my apartment building. For a dollar a day, you could get anywhere you wanted to go in Chicago and back again. Population density made all this financially possible. Chicago is one of the few cities in North America with a convenient mass transit system. Other cities (like Houston where I live now) may have buses, but they run so infrequently outside of rush hours and they drop you off so far from your home, that most people find them inconvenient.