Chicago Transportation

Chicago Transportation

The Chicago Transit Authority manages city buses and trains running to and from 40 suburbs and within the heart of the Windy City. Buses and trains run several times per hour, and holiday routes apply to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. Some trains run on elevated tracks and are referred to as "the el."
Buses accept cash fare or riders can purchase the Chicago Card or the Chicago Card Plus, which deducts the cost of the first ride, makes the first transfer a reduced rate, and makes the second transfer free. Reduced fares are also available to children, students, seniors, and those with disabilities. Cards can be purchased online through chicago-card.com, transitchicago.com, at rail stations, and at certain grocery stores and pharmacies. The CTA sells 3-day and 7-day passes, which provide unlimited bus and train rides. METRA is the CTA's sister agency, and it operates 11 commuter rail lines within Chicago to the suburbs.

Chicago has two international airports: O'Hare, and Chicago Midway International Airport. The L train goes to both airports, and saves riders money and time going from either airport to the downtown area. Taxis and shuttle van rides from O'Hare to downtown can take anywhere up to 90 minutes and from Midway to downtown will take approximately 40 minutes; cab fare and shuttle van service will also cost significantly more than the train. On the other hand, the blue line L train route between downtown and directly into O'Hare's lower level concourse takes approximately 45 minutes. This connects to terminals 1, 2, and 3, and a another free shuttle train connects to terminal 5. The orange line L train between Midway and downtown takes about 25 minutes.

PACE is a bus transit system within the suburbs, and quite of few of their routes connect with CTA routes, enabling those riders to travel into the city. In addition, SOUTH SHORE LINE commuter trains run between Chicago's downtown and Indiana's South Bend Airport. Chicago's taxis, although costing more than train and bus fare, are a great way to get around for short trips when you need door-to-door service.

A fun and unique way to see a different view of the city is on the Chicago River via the Chicago Water Taxi service, which has stops in Chinatown, Madison Street, LaSalle/Clark, and Michigan Avenue. Service runs seven days a week. Shoreline Sightseeing also operates water taxis around Navy Pier and to the Loop.