"Public Transit" CTA (city trains & buses, the EL) Tip by wreckloose
CTA (city trains & buses, the EL), Chicago: 104 reviews and 126 photos
Getting around Chicago is real easy (and quick!!) thanks to buses and the "EL", which is a system of elevated trains operating 24 hours a day and run by the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority). You can pick up a CTA System Map at most subway stations and visitor centers or from the CTA office on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart. The buses run every five to fifteen minutes during rush hours and about eight to twenty minutes at most other times. Rapid transit trains run every five to fifteen minutes during the day and every fifteen to sixty minutes all night.
The Lines are color-coded and categorized by route instead of destination. The Howard-Dan Ryan is the Red Line; Lake Englewood-Jackson Park is the Green Line; the O'Hare-Congress-Douglas is the Blue Line; the Ravenswood is the Brown Line (whose trains circle the Loop, giving the area its name); the Evanston Express is the Purple Line; and the Skokie Swift is the Yellow Line.
The CTA no longer accepts tokens, as was the case the first time I visited... instead, riders have to now buy a transit card (available in all EL stations) and add a money value to it. One ride costs $1.50; another ride within two hours costs just 30¢. If you plan to be on the move, passes good for one ($5), two ($9), three ($12) or five ($18) days of unlimited rides might be a good idea. They're available at O'Hare, Midway and Amtrak subway stations.
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