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Greys in the city: Public Transit, Biking, etc


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Hey all,

 

I recently moved into Chicago from a medium sized city. I'm settling in nicely, though still getting used to some of the differences. Hopefully at long last I'll finally be bringing my grey baby home in (early) October. I was just wondering how many of you live in larger similar cities with public transit and how or if you acclimate your birds to it. I'm planning on waiting a while until I'm at the leve that he trusts me and I can be a source of comfort, as opposed to added stress. Even so what methods do you use? What do you avoid? Does anyone take their birds on bike rides with them? There are several parks nearby I'm planning on visiting with him weather permitting, I know Greys can be skittish and their youth is important for desensitization to noises etc.

 

Any advice from fellow city dwellers is more than welcome!

 

ps. i have this travel cage already, and a friend is making some cloth covers for visual and/or wind obstruction: photo2.jpg

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I don't live in a big enough city to have any experience taking my fids on the T, uh L, uhm subway? Which, by my standards is a good thing for a few reasons. The fumes, curves, tunnels, noise, jostling & smells used to scare the heck out of me when I was a kid. Still don't particularly like them. So maybe it would be a good thing to wait to expose your new fid until you know he's a really good traveler.

 

Don't take my fids on a bike, either. lol Just not that coordinated!! But Shanlung used to post about taking his on his scooter. Maybe some of his threads would be helpful.

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Ah, yeah Chicago's train system is only subway for a short section downtown on certain lines. It's mostly El(evated). If I did take him on the train it would only be on the open air above ground sections anyway. There's no real reason for me to bring him downtown. Not often anyway. That's a big reason I had cage jackets made: to wrap him up and obstruct his view of all the business if need be. I can also take the bus anywhere as well, though it'll mean longer transit rides with a lot more people and starts and stops.

 

Of course I'll take all this very gradually and start with walks, short trips just down the block, etc.

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Hello!

 

I live in New York City. New York City MTA, specifically, has a rule that animals are allowed on public transportation, so long as they're in a carrier...and dogs need to be muzzled. I've taken all my animals on public transport at some point, since I, as of yet, don't drive.

 

My suggestion to you is to get a blanket to cover the carrier because you will get a lot of unwanted attention. This is mainly why I usually get a ride to the vet or get a car service, because the unwanted attention worries me.

 

Also, find out what the laws are in your area for public transport.

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Thanks for the input Eshana. I've called the CTA Office and they said essentially the same thing for carrier animals. Thigh I don't think we have the luxury of dogs even muzzled, unless they're service. As for the blanket the carrier jackets I had made are made out of an old boat cover. Will that do? :P I also don't want to be responsible for little fingers poking at beaks.

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Yes. I'd also suggest letting Gandalf get used to the carrier at home with the cover on it, first, so he isn't overly loud.

 

I guess I'm stressing this point, because one time I had my oldest rat, Aristotle, in the carrier on the bus and a woman freaked out and knocked the carrier out of my hands. He's okay! But I'm sure people are equally afraid of birds, and I don't want a less hardy bird getting hurt.

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  • 7 months later...

I travel to Chicago for work and since I have no wheels when I am in the hotel have to rely on public transportation, people pretty much keep to themselves, but there are MANY and I say MANY unruly kids on the trains and busses these will be your biggest problem. I would suggest you disguise the carrier to avoid unwanted attention, but if the bird makes any noise that obviously will, but people are usually pretty decent all in all

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Hey all I just wanted to update you. I've since moved to the city. I live in northern Chicago, work in Skokie, and go to school down in the loop (downtown). I found a good clear, vertical carrier and had a friend make a cover for it. Like the last commenter sai people mostly keep to themselves on the CTA. I've seena few small carriers for small dogs and cats etc. I do still have my carand so far Ive just used that when I have to take Gandalf places. Now that he's used to and fine with that I may try the CTA this summer. The biggest thing over this winter was the weather. Chicago can get pretty cold (and windy of course). Even though this winter was extremely mild for the most part, and I have a "windbreaker" cover for his carrier I still didn't take him on CTA for a couple reasons: 1) the wait time between transferring busses or trains can commonly be between 10-20 minutes. Even with the mild weathe most days it was still well below 50 or 60 degrees. 2) less detrimentally the CTA rarely drops you off directly outside your destination. Not a problem for us, but means more time in the cold for our friends. Lastly CTA obviously takes quite a bit longer. What is a 15 min drive to work can be 45 min up to a 2 hour CTA trip on the weekends. Now that's a particularly extreme example, but something you definitely have to be aware of: time/day can drastically effect transit time, and your little guy has to be ok chilling in his carrier.

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Guest XxExoticPsychExX

Hey, I go to UIC! I live in the suburbs and commute on the metra every weekday. I know metra doesn't allow pets other than service animals. I wouldn't advise taking an exotic animal on the CTA train. Heck, I don't even advise taking the CTA train at night! I don't know what parts of Chicago you've traveled to while on the CTA train, but everywhere I've gone there are always some shady people on there even during the day. I'm a female and I never take that form of transportation by myself and all I usually have is my purse and backpack.

 

On top of that, I'm always getting UIC police alert texts and email telling of the recent robbery or hold up (even rape) going on around the UIC area regardless of the time of day (UIC is about 15 minutes walking distance from Union Station off Harrison and Halsted).

 

I'm letting you know this so you can be aware of what goes on. You wouldn't want to place yourself and your FID in a vulnerable situation.

 

As for parks, I wouldn't be aware of any good ones.

Be careful where you ride a bike in Chicago. The taxi cabs tend to be speedy little demons and the CTA bus drivers are no angels either!

 

Not trying to scare you. Just an fyi from my experiences in the windy city :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Jocelyn

I too am looking into a travel carrier for my future grey and plan on taking him on the bus. Our city though is much smaller so I think the most attention I would be getting would be from curious more than dangerous people...

There is a man in my area whose grey goes EVEERYWHERE with him from walks around the neighborhood to the local bar in her carrier, she doesn't say much but is visibly happy, they were the reason I first started looking into a grey.

The other day I was downtown and a well dressed lAdy was talking to herself while walking through the mall, I than realized she had a little green parrot on her shoulder I thought that was way too cool, and a little risky lol

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Hey, I go to UIC! I live in the suburbs and commute on the metra every weekday. I know metra doesn't allow pets other than service animals. I wouldn't advise taking an exotic animal on the CTA train. Heck, I don't even advise taking the CTA train at night! I don't know what parts of Chicago you've traveled to while on the CTA train, but everywhere I've gone there are always some shady people on there even during the day. I'm a female and I never take that form of transportation by myself and all I usually have is my purse and backpack.

 

On top of that, I'm always getting UIC police alert texts and email telling of the recent robbery or hold up (even rape) going on around the UIC area regardless of the time of day (UIC is about 15 minutes walking distance from Union Station off Harrison and Halsted).

 

I'm letting you know this so you can be aware of what goes on. You wouldn't want to place yourself and your FID in a vulnerable situation.

 

As for parks, I wouldn't be aware of any good ones.

Be careful where you ride a bike in Chicago. The taxi cabs tend to be speedy little demons and the CTA bus drivers are no angels either!

 

Not trying to scare you. Just an fyi from my experiences in the windy city :)

I totally agree with you I didn't want to scare her from traveling, yeah Union station is BAD, I am a Rough and Tough Railroader and I get nervous, my employer has put out a memo stating when we Deadhead on Amtrak, we have to have let them know we are coming and have either a RR police officer or Management be there waiting for us so we don't have to wait, due to all the riff-raff

and you hit it on the head people in Chicago drive like total morons. and I am being nice, I have seen a few people with birds on the lakefront parks, but I personally wouldn't do it, I think she should find a park in Skokie.

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I never would have thought of subjecting my birds to the CTA, but if I didn't drive, I guess I might have to consider it (we live way out in the 'burbs now). As for parks around Skokie, you could do a lot worse than visiting the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston.

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  • 3 months later...

Just found this post. Enjoyed it immensely. I've taken Metra and CTA many times. I'm a product of the Chicago burbs and visit family and the city of Chicago at least once a year if not more. I also reside in Manhattan currently. We never take underground transportation that you have to wait underground for the sole reason of the air quality. Who knows what fumes are building up down there. It's funky down there, especially in New York. The air quality in cities is questionable for parrots as it is. We also never use our soft sided carrier in crowded areas. I've been shoved too many times to take the risk of our fids carrier being pressed between me and some inconsiderate idiot. During cold months we insulate a snapple bottle full of recently boiled water and strap it down in the carrier which has a quilted cover. Works like a charm. We generally spend about 1-2 hours before we reach our usual destinations via commuter train outside the city. It works great for that.

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I live in New York City. New York City MTA, specifically, has a rule that animals are allowed on public transportation, so long as they're in a carrier...and dogs need to be muzzled.

 

I'm awful. When I lived in NYC I would take my Pekingese on the A Train without a carrier. Hey, they were Pekes! And they got to be pretty well known too. :)

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