CHICAGO (CBS) — The CTA turns 70 as an operating agency on Sunday, and it will be marking the anniversary with a four-hour party in the Loop that will feature its antique trains and buses, face-painting, memento giveaways and performances by some of the local musicians who play on subway platforms.
The party begins at 10 a.m. in Daley Plaza. The first 150 to board bus 8499 at Dearborn and Washington Streets will require a special ticket, available at 9:30 a.m. in Daley Plaza from the CTA’s Community Connections bus.
Two other buses, the 55-year-old 301 and the 48-year-old 3706, will be parked for people to explore.
The ‘L’ trains join the act at 10:45 a.m. with its 94-year-old pair of 4000-series ‘L” cars being followed by its 41-year-old 2400-series Heritage Fleet cars. Trains will board at Clark/Lake. Again, the first 150 to board will require a special ticket, available at 9:30 a.m. in Daley Plaza from the CTA’s Community Connections bus.
The rides, face painting and giveaways will continue until 2 p.m.
CTA President Dorval Carter called the ‘L’ system “iconic” and said it helps make Chicago “one of the most famous and appealing cities in the world.”
On Oct. 1, 1947, CTA took over the operations of the Chicago Rapid Transit Co., which operated the city’s ‘L’ system, and Chicago Surface Lines, which operated both streetcars and buses. Both were in bankruptcy. It would take over the other private bus operator, the Chicago Motor Coach Co., in 1952.
Today, CTA carries approximately 1.6-million riders each weekday.