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Events, Food, Life, Transportation,

Chicago Ideas Week: Exploring Chicago on the Cheap

It’s no secret that I love participating in Twitter Chats.

Yesterday, I was asked to cohost Chicago Idea’s Week Twitter Chat: #Ideaschat (Tuesdays at 11am CST). In a nod to this blog, the topic was “Exploring Chicago… on the Cheap.”

In addition to just documenting this momentous occasion (my first time hosting a Twitter Chat!), I’d like to share some of my favorite responses for each of the questions, which all revolved around topics my blog holds dear!

Question 1:  What is your best tip for living in Chicago on a Budget?

Question 2: Festival season is approaching! What’s your best tip for attending on a budget? What festival will we see you at this year?

Question 3: What’s your tip for getting from one place to another in Chicago (on a budget, of course!)?

Question 4: Where do you go when you want the most bang for your buck for a meal?

Question 5: What’s your favorite free Chicago activity?

Thanks for everyone who participated and made this chat useful and informative! I know I learned something new about the city I call my home.

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Life, Transportation,

Former CTA Graphic Artist Shames CTA with His Own Way More Brutally Honest Ad Campaign and It’s all 100% the Truth

Hello heathens, my name is The Blind Nihilist. I write for an arguably satirical blog that I created, which is also named The Blind Nihilist. I’m not big into self-promotion, but you can find it here.

Something else you might not know about me is that I’m a fantastic graphic designer and used to work for the Chicago Transit Authority. This is all true. Many of you may have heard of the CTA’s new ad campaign to get passengers’ behavior back on track, and believe it or not, I was one of the advertisement executives on the project. Before I got fired, I came up with plenty of my own posters ideas, which the head of the CTA said would never see the light of day. Again, this is all 100% accurate. Anyway I would like to share some of the designs with you guys on this blog. Since the ad campaign they stole from me is starting to go viral, I want people to know how big a part I played in all of this. Again, you can find more information about me here. Anyway, here are my contributions to the CTA’s new ad campaign.

*****Please make note of the fact that none of the views of the aforementioned images and/or words are representative viewpoints or opinions of the Chicago Cheap Ass blog, nor are they really the views or opinions of the author, and nobody should be subjected to reading and/or viewing them.













Now tell me again how “manspreading” and “eating on the train” are problems.

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Chicago Transportation

There are so many different transportation options for getting from point a to point b in Chicago. It’s important to weigh what’s most important to you for different situations – time required or cost. The rise of on-demand transportation has made it more cost-effective to get places quickly, so I’ll summarize the differences between options.

Uber Logo

Uber. Most Chicagoans have a love/hate relationship with Uber. We hate Uber when we have somewhere to be, or just want to go home, only to find that Uber has jacked up their pricing to an insane amount ($60 minimum to go half a mile? No thank you). We hate it so much that someone even made an app to find locations that help avoid the surge pricing. On the flip side, Uber is always the quickest to pick me up and very cost-effective when not on the surge.

Promo code: je0tr for $10-30 off first ride (depending on current promotion)

Lyft Logo

Lyft. Lyft is Uber’s unpopular little brother. I have found that there are never as many Lyft rides available as there are Uber rides. However, unlike Uber, Lyft rarely initiates surge pricing, so it’s a good alternative on days you know you’ll be paying double or more on Uber (think: any major holiday or event that involves drinking).

Promo codeMADDY360 for $20 towards first ride

Curb Logo

Curb. Previously known as TaxiMagic, Curb is an on-demand service for catching a Cab. This will, on average, cost more than Uber, HOWEVER, they will never have surge pricing. Since Curb operates through a large network of cabs, you have a good shot of catching one during a crazy event or holiday.

Promo code: A09F86 for $10 towards first ride

Sidecar Logo

Sidecar. Sidecar is an interesting spin on the aforementioned on-demand transportation solutions. There are two important differences that make this option pretty awesome:

  1. Drivers “bid” on a ride based on the distance, so a person can see how much it will cost with different drivers before booking it
  2. Shared rides are often available where a person literally shares a ride with someone else heading their direction – could cost as little as $3

A caveat – Sidecar is not as well-known or widely used as any of the other apps previously mentioned. On average, it will take longer to be picked up. Sharing is caring! Spread the word so more people use it and transportation options increase in Chicago.

Promo code: MADDY59 for $20 worth of credit

Divvy Logo

Divvy. For those not in the know (or perhaps blind, as the flashy Divvy hubs are on practically every block on busy Chicago streets), Divvy is a bike sharing service that has recently taken the city by storm. Sometimes it makes more sense than riding your own bike when a person needs a one-way transportation option to a relatively close place. Divvy costs about $75 annually, but a lot of Chicago employers will cover some of the cost (just ask). Additionally, Divvy runs specific promotions on the regular, so if you can afford to wait, be patient and stake out the best price.

CTA Logo

CTA. You can’t live in Chicago and not use the CTA. There’s almost always an efficient way to get from point a to point by using a mix of trains and buses. For $2.25 a ride (or $100 unlimited each month), it’s definitely cheaper than any on-demand transportation. If  you decided to sell your old car, a car removal company will pay and remove your car on the same day!

The best thing you can do is make a plan ahead of time so you don’t end up wasting money at the last minute.

Any awesome transportation solutions I missed? Sound off in the comments.