Best Of Chicago

Guide To Chicago’s Public Transportation

March 1, 2014 7:00 AM

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(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Traveling in and around the city of Chicago can be a bit difficult, whether you’re dealing with the traffic or the confusing one-way streets. For many commuters and travelers, public transportation is the way to go if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to get around the city. The previous article entitled “Insider’s Guide To Chicago Transportation” offered some great tidbits on the public transportation situation in Chicago, but there have been some changes in recent years. Take advantage of the many different options available in public transportation and ensure a stress-free commute to work or just a fun way to travel around the city.

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Chicago Transit Authority (C.T.A.)
567 West Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 836-7000
www.transitchicago.com

The subways and elevated trains in Chicago are known as the “L.” The price for a single adult fare for the train is $2.25, kids under seven are free with a riding ticket holder and children between the ages of seven and 11 are $0.75 to $1.10. Transit Cards are used to dispense funds and many people veer towards One-Day, Three-Day, Seven-Day or 30-Day passes for convenience. However, the C.T.A. is now transitioning to Ventra cards that have either a single-ride or full-day feature. Some stops still operate with the Transit Cards during this transition, with a reduced fare of $7.50.

(Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/ Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/ Getty Images)

Chicago Transit Authority (C.T.A. Bus)
567 West Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 836-7000
www.transitchicago.com

The C.T.A. also includes buses that operate throughout the city. The buses help to facilitate travelers in areas that are between train stops and are a great way to get from one point to the next without having to spend big on cabs. Bus fare deducted from a Ventra Transit Account, Chicago Card or Transit Card is $2 regular fare, $1 for discounted fare and $0.75 for a student with a valid school identification card. If paying for the bus via the cash and coin fare box while boarding, the price is $2.25 for regular fare, $1.10 for a reduced fare and $0.75 for a student.

Metra locomotive (CBS File Photo)

Metra locomotive (CBS File Photo)

Metra Rail
547 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 322-6900
www.metrarail.com

The Metra is used for people looking to travel in and around the city, not just within the city limits. There are 11 different lines heading out of Chicago into the suburbs and even into Wisconsin. There are four stations downtown: Union Station, LaSalle Street, Millennium Station and Ogilvie Station. This is often a favorite among Chicago frequent travelers because it is relatively inexpensive and offers some great deals for groups and families. The 10-Ride ticket can be shared by the entire group, there is a $7 Weekend Pass that includes unlimited rides and weekend fares allow for free rides for children between three and 11 years of age. One-Way tickets range from $2.75 to $9.25, depending on the line you are taking.

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Pace Bus
550 W. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(847) 364-7223
www.pacebus.com

Pace buses run throughout Chicagoland regions and neighboring suburbs. Riders can choose one of the fixed routes, the Dial-a-Ride service or Call-n-Ride. The bus routes are between 30- to 60-minute intervals through mid-evening and many of them run seven days a week. There are bicycle mounting brackets for riders needing to hoist up their bikes while riding and the fare system is being combined with the Ventra system to allow for ease in traveling. Instead of having to carry around multiple cards for Metra, C.T.A. or Pace, everything can be deducted from your Ventra Transit Account.

ADA Paratransit 
550 W. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(847) 364-2416
www.pacebus.com/sub/paratransit/sd_ada_chicago.asp

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, this service allows for those affected with disabilities to be able to utilize public transportation. People who are certified eligible by the Regional Transportation Authority for having a disability or a health condition that doesn’t allow for them to ride on the C.T.A. or Pace can ride on the ADA Paratransit. The fare for a ride on the ADA Paratransit is $3. The fixed route is generally the same as other fixed route buses and there is an option to use scheduled appointments if needed.

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Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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