Sometimes one train won’t get you where you need to go, and you’ll need to transfer to a different line or to a bus. Elevator at Western (O'Hare Branch) Temporarily Out-of-Service. This effectively doubles the standing room in the aisles, as two average-sized people could stand back to back facing outward. CTA and a second company, Pace, operate bus routes in the suburbs. They’re typically marked with cardinal directions or with street names. And some serving multiple lines use two platforms, with two trains in between and two trains on the outside. Some are underground, others are grade level structure and still others are elevated high above the ground. We’ll start with the Purple Line. They’re very intuitive to use. Share this post: Become the ultimate urban explorer and tour Chicago by ‘L’ train, part of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). In the Loop, stations can be separated by only a block or so–make sure you go to the correct one for a free transfer. The most straightforward way to use these is just to tap them and you will be billed the cost of the ride. Your Chicago L Train Tracks stock images are ready. Transfers (covered more below) to other L lines, CTA buses, or Pace buses, cost 25 cents for two rides in two hours. The conductor will usually come on and ask you to explain your emergency. The ticket will cost more than the standard $2.50 fare, as covered next! There are a wide range of ticket / card options, and we’re going to try and cover the most important ones below. When waiting on your train, don’t stand on the blue at the edge of the platform. Once you’ve purchased your ticket or pass, all payments to ride the L are made by tapping a physical card or ticket (covered next) on a Ventra Terminal. It’s easy to navigate, kind to your wallet, and gives you the chance to see the city from one end to the other. Most are as simple as walking to the other side of a platform. The codes are available online and on the bottom of the route maps at the station: There are basic protocols to be followed to ensure that everyone gets where they’re going in an efficient manner. You can also typically follow signs at the stations that indicate how to get to your free transfer: There are also paid transfers. Every tourist destination in the world struggles with pickpockets, at a minimum. Chicago’s main train system is colloquially referred to as “the L.” It consists of eight train lines—Red, Blue, Green, Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple, and Yellow. You can get to Willis Tower by Bus, Train or Chicago 'L'. You can get pickpocketed or strong arm robbed (that is, robbery without a weapon) absolutely anywhere in the city, and you should always be alert to that fact. History of the L. Beginning in the 1870s, as Chicago grew at an incredibly rapid pace, private companies laid rail tracks downtown and began introducing streetcars pulled by horses. Yea, let’s talk about some terminology. For those trains, the direction into downtown will just be indicated by “Loop.”. When riding trains, keep your wallet in your front pocket and make sure you put away your phone as you approach any stop. There are a few different transfers you can make when riding the Chicago L. We’re going to break these into transfers between L trains and transfers to/from L trains from/to other types of transit. Featured in countless movies and television shows, the ‘L’ is recognized worldwide as an iconic part of Chicago’s landscape and an easy, affordable ticket to explore Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. $5 … explainer on Chicagos neighborhoods vs. suburbs, Chicago's grid system and how you can use it to find your way around, read about the presidential streets downtown, find out how they got their names and why they're out of order and missing a few, “An OUTBOUND train, FROM THE LOOP, will be arriving shortly.”, “An INBOUND train, TOWARD THE LOOP, will be arriving shortly.”, Seven Day with Pace Buses — $33 (13 rides), Guaranteed Rate Field — Red Line Sox-35th or Green Line 35th Bronzeville IIT, The Hancock Center — Red Line Chicago and walk 10 minutes east, Lincoln Park (the neighborhood) — Red/Brown Line Fullerton or Brown Line Armitage, Lincoln Park Zoo — Brown Line Sedgwick and walk 20 minutes, McCormick Place — Green Line Cermak-McCormick Place and walk 15 minutes east, Midway International Airport (MDW) — Orange Line Midway, Museum Campus — Red / Orange / Green Line Roosevelt and walk 15 minutes east, Navy Pier — Red Line Grand and walk 20 minutes east, North Avenue Beach — Brown Line Sedgwick and walk 20 minutes ease, O’Hare International Airport (ORD) — Blue Line O’Hare, Soldier Field — Red / Green / Orange Line Roosevelt and walk 15 minutes east, Theater District — Red Line Lake or Other Lines Clark & Lake, Union Station — Blue Line Clinton and walk 5 minutes, The United Center — Blue Line Illinois Medical District or Pink / Green Line Ashland, Willis Tower — Brown / Orange / Pink / Purple Line Quincy or any Loop stop and walk, Wrigley Field — Red Line Addison or Brown Line Southport and walk 15 minutes. Allow people to exit the train first. Conductors (usually) do a visual inspection down the platform before they close the doors, so you should be able to get some attention. It is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), which also runs the city's bus system. The L provides access to almost all of the city, and virtually no Chicagoan who has ever left the house hasn’t ridden the L. In this guide, we hope to cover everything you need to know to successfully ride the L. This post is written mostly for tourists and Chicago newbies, but we have no doubt some locals could use a refresher. Just click the train station. The Ventra Service Center (VSC) located at 567 W. Lake Street, 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60601, will be temporarily closed for in-person service as of March 19, 2020, until further notice. Chicago is a large city comprising many neighborhoods, but these are all a part of the City of Chicago. Don’t be comforted by those. The system has a total track length of 165.4 km (102.8 miles) and is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority. It might be helpful to read up on Chicago’s grid system as part of this background. The system is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). In particular, the Loop is a rectangular set of stops utilized by the Purple, Brown, Orange, and Pink Lines to service downtown and to turn the trains around, like so: A fifth line — the Green Line — uses some of the Loop stops as it passes through downtown, but it doesn’t make the full loop and turn around like the other four lines. Chicago L-Train asset for Game. Some are ornate, others are utilitarian. Each train car also has emergency intercoms that connect you to the conductor. Safety is a big, and legitimate, concern for anyone riding public transit in any big city. Ventra is the payment system for riding the CTA (including buses and the L) and Pace buses. The Chicago "L" system is a unification of lines built and formerly operated by competing companies. If you have a contactless bank card, or Apple Pay or Android Pay, you can skip this step. The passes are priced as follows: You can register your Ventra Card to an online Ventra Account, which makes for convenient management of your passes and transit value. Chicago’s elevated transit system, the “L,” offers a convenient and efficient way to travel around the city and to certain outlying communities. Or as I do on Michigan Avenue during the day? See wooden trailers and steel cars in operation around the system, images of the North Shore Electroliners that shared the tracks and the CTA's most modern rolling stock in operation, plus behind-the-scenes yard pictures. At that point, the ‘L’ was just an ordinary steam powered train on raised tracks. Look around most CTA stations and on trains and you’ll see tons of cameras. Like the Red Line, the Blue Line operates as a subway for stretch downtown, and for the Washington, Monroe, and Jackson stops may be called “the Dearborn Street Subway,” though again, I’ve never heard a local say this. The oldest series is the 2600-series which was built between 1981 and 1987 and refurbished between 1999 and 2002. Find the perfect Chicago L Train stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. A suburb, by contrast, is not a part of the city and has its own government. And truthfully, I’m a little torn about how to handle it on this site. An alternative app is “Transit Stop.” I used to use this one, but I’ve never found it intuitive. The Red Line is the backbone of Chicago transit. A suburb, by contrast, is not a part of the city and has its own government. Trains serve over 140 stations located throughout the city and nearby suburbs, on elevated railways, in subways, or on the ground. One branch heads east, ending just south of Hyde Park at Cottage Grove. Rather, this section just seeks to give you a basic understanding of the lines while highlighting some key areas they visit. Also, don't run on platforms. Collect the CTA Lines: Brown, Blue, Red, Pink, Green, Yellow, CTA Spirit of Chicago, and CTA Holiday Train($3 from every holiday train sale is going to charity) Availability. That said, all things are on a spectrum. Throughout, we’re going to mention landmarks and neighborhoods you might not be familiar with. The lights were first introduced in the late 1940s with the 5000-series cars and were retrofit onto the 4000s as well. You cannot purchase a disposable ticket or pass on a bus. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items. Explore Chicago on the ‘L’ train. From the Loop south, it passes by Chinatown, Guarantee Rate Field (home of the Chicago White Sox), connections to Hyde Park / Museum of Science and Industry, and Chicago State University. Fourth, tap your ticket / card / device at the turnstile, and go through. Click to open menu Click to go to the Chicago Transit Authority homepage Click to open search. Select from premium Chicago L Train of the highest quality. And you’ve ridden the L! First, the Loop is a neighborhood in downtown Chicago bound by the Chicago River (north), Lake Michigan (east), Roosevelt Road (south) and the Chicago River again (west). Started at Washington & Wells station and got off at Clark & Lake. Though there are other cities with elevated trains, Chicago is the only city where the entire train system is referred to by this term (even though parts of the Chicago ‘L’ are under ground). Fine, we’ll give you the short version. The L is designed to allow for numerous free transfers between train lines, particularly in the Loop. 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