Chicago Transportation Tips by deecat Top 5 Page for this destination
Chicago Transportation: 411 reviews and 412 photos
Reduced Far Permit
About the middle of March, 2008, anyone who is 65 or oder who lives in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will, or McHenry County is eligible to ride FREE on transportation operated by the Chicago Transit Authority [CTA], Metra, and Pace. If you already have the Reduced Fare Permit [as I do], then within a few months a transition to the new "RTA free-ride ID Card" [the new "smart card' ] will take place.
If you want to be elgible, you must sign up during normal business hours at the RTA's CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER that is located at 165 North Jefferson Street in Chicago or a suburban site [270 of them]. For a list of the registration sites, you may call 836-7000 [from any local area code].
Once you receive your card, you are able to show it to the bus driver, the train conductor; or, you can use it at a farebox or turnstile.
This is a fabulous free service for seniors, especially low-income seniors. I personally think that this will give older people the opportunity to "get out and about" without financial burdens.
Other Contact: for refunds: www.metrarail.com
Chicago Double Decker Tour Bus
One of the most popular tours that is available in Chicago is the Chicago Double Decker Company Tour. It is heated in the winter and open-air in the summer.
They take credit cards such as Discover, Diners Club, Master Card, Visa, and American Express.
This tour has a "Hop On, Hop Off" advantage where you are allowed to get off at 13 different stops, but you cannot get off between stops.
From May 26 through September 3, they have an exclusive offer that includes a bonus route of Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods; thus, you obtain two tours for the price of one! These neighborhoods include Little Italy, Chinatown, Greektown, and West Loop/Harpo Studies.
They have several service stops where you can purchase your tickets. The prices are $23.00 for adults and $20.00 for Seniors.
The stops they make are Sears Tower, Millennium Park, Wacker South [Riverwalk, Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, Boat tours], Theater District, Art Institute, Hilton Towers & Hotel [Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain, Printer's Row], Field Museum of Natural History, [Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium], Sheraton Hotel [NBC Tower, and River East Plaza, Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile, Hancock Center, Water Tower, River North [North Bridge & River North shopping and dining.
While we were there, they were offering a Free Hershey chocolate bar and a Free Garrett popcorn Sample [these items could be redeemed at the Hershey [Water Tower stop and at the Garrett Popcorn stop [Theater District].
Signage for The Pedway
Often called "Chicago's secret weapon against the elements", the Pedway was introduced to me by fellow VT member, Dabs [Kristi}.
The Pedway is really a combination of underground tunnels, overhead skyway bridges, and concourses. It shelters pedestrians from some of Chicago's bad weather when in and around the Chicago Loop.
I looked up information about the Pedway after being introduced to it and discovered that development of it began in 1951 [and I'm just now learning how to use it!!!] Because it has grown haphazardly, it is not uniform; it is difficult to locate, and sometimes hard to navigate
We were able to walk to James R. Thompson Center, to Marshall Field's [Macy's], and the Cultural Center. But the State-Dearborn Pedway is now closed because of the development of Block 37. This is really a great inconvenience for the downtown workers and dwellers who get off the Blue Line and pedway to Macy's or those who get off the Electric or the Red Line and cut underground to go to LaSalle Street.
I did read in the Sun-Times that the pedway at Michigan and Randolph will very soon have a Starbucks, a bakery, a newsstand and other retailers [this area will be called The Shops at Millennium Station]. Presumedly, there will be more and better lighting, air conditioning, and cleaner attendant-kept restrooms. I've forgotten when it will be completed.
Here is a partial list of points of entry and exit for the Pedway:
25 East Washington Street
139 North Wabash Avenue
Hyatt Regency Hotel
77 West Wacker Drive
City Hall/County Building
James R. Thompson Center
Richard J. Daley Center
Chicago Cultural Center
Carson Pirie Scott
Having been introduced to this underground world [at least a portion of it], I will now remember what to do when it's bitterly cold, raining, or ridiculously hot...The Pedway is the way to go!
Chicago Elevated Train ("el")
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the bus and rail system which services the city and surrounding suburbs.
The five operating city train lines (referred to as the "L" or "el" by most Chicagoans) are named by COLOR.
The BLUE& RED lines& PURPLE Lines
These lines shuttle from Chicago to Evanston
and run 24 hours daily.
The BLUE line departs from O'Hare Airport about every six minutes daily from Terminal 3.
The ORANGE line services Midway Airport; departing every 8 minutes.
Numbered from 1-204, most CTA buses run every 5-20 minutes daily from early morning through late into the night. Some run 24 hours; every 30 minutes at night. An OWL symbol on the bus sign indicates if a bus line runs all night long.
Chicago is heavily populated with cabs, and flagging one down is simple. But, during the holiday season, getting a cab requires patience.
Both distance and time determine the fare. Tips are at the discretion of the customer.
A cab ride between O'HARE AIRPORT and CHICAGO costs about $25-$30.
From MIDWAY AIRPORT to DOWNTOWN cost between $20-$25.
Phone: RTA=836-7000 for any area code
One of many trolley cars in Chicago
"One reason for knowing the history of Chicago is that its history is the history of the Midwest, and the history of the Midwest is, to a larger extent ...the history of the nation."
Floyd Dell, author, 1912
If you have never visited Chicago, and this is your first time here, it is a good idea to become familiar with the city by taking a sightseeing tour. See the highlights of Chicago's downtown and lakefront aboard an "Original Chicago Trolley" These hourly lectured tours depart daily. (Call 427-3105)
Shoreline Sightseeing and Charters is one of the best and most diversified. They operate from three Grant Park locations daily through the end of September. Daytime rides depart every half hour from the SHEDD AQUARIUM/FIELD MUSEUM from 11:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Every half hour from the ADLER PLANETARIUM from 11:15 to 5:15 p.m.
Evening rides depart from BUCKINGHAM FOUNTAIN every half hour from 7:15 p.m. to ll:15 p.m. with extended hours for major holidays and festivals.
All tours have live commentary on Chicago's history and architecture. Printed translations available in 10 languages!
Shoreline offers evening and weekend rides from their NAVY PIER location just west of the Skyline Stage nightly Mon-Fri every hour from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sat. & Sun. from 1 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Horse-drawn Carriage in front of Tourist Bus
If Romance is in the air, and you want to enhance that feeling, perhaps a horse-drawn carriage ride is for you?
JC Cutters, ltd. offers such rides, beginning with tours of downtown Chicago. The Downtown Sights Include:
Lakefront, Michigan Avenue,
Lincoln Park, Grant Park,
Buckingham Fountain,State Street,
Nightlife Riverfront, and Chicago Archictecture.
You can find Carriage stands in the following locations:
Michigan and Chestnut
Wells and Ontario
State and Randolph
Superior and Michigan
If you have a reservation, you are guaranteed a ride anytime.
If you just go to a stand and ask for a ride, you receive the horse and carriage that is there, and the times open are:
10:30am to 3:30pm Mon-Fri.
7pm to 1am Mon-Thurs
7pm to 2am Fridays
11am to 2am Saturdays
12pm to 11pm Sundays
At the stands, the prices are:
$30.00 for approximately 20 minutes
$40.00 for approximately 1/2 hour ride
$80.00 for approximately one hour ride
Then you need to pay gratuities (15-20%)
If you want to make a reservation, it has to be at least 24 hours before you want to take the ride. Reservation rides are more expensive and include momento of sip of wine or Polaroid picture.
Because of the expense, these rides should be made for special occasions or to impress the "apple of your eye."
NOTE: CLICK PHOTO TO SEE THE ENTIRE PHOTOGRAPH!
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