Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
yard,” blue-collar neighborhoods that
once surr ounded the Chicago S tock-
yards. Neither area offers much to the
typical visitor; in fact, “outsiders” aren't
all that welcome.
Hyde P ark Hyde P ark's main attrac-
tion for families is the world-famous
Museum of Science and I ndustry.
Hyde Park is like an independent village
within the confines of Chicago, right off
Lake Michigan and r oughly a 30-min-
ute train ride from the Loop. The main
drag is 57th S treet, and the U niversity
of Chicago—with all its attendant shops
and restaurants—is the neighborhood 's
principal tenant. The most successful
racially integrated community in the
city, H yde P ark is an oasis of furious
intellectual activity and liberalism that,
ironically, is hemmed in on all sides b y
neighborhoods suffering some of the
highest crime rates in Chicago.
have to carr y y our str oller up and do wn
stairs to reach the train platform).
Fares for the bus, sub way, and E l ar e
$2, with an additional 25¢ for a transfer
that allows CTA riders to make two trans-
fers on the bus or E l within 2 hours of
receipt. Childr en 6 and under ride fr ee,
and those betw een the ages of 7 and 11
pay $1 (15¢ for transfers). S eniors can
also r eceive the r educed far e if they hav e
the appr opriate r educed-fare permit (call
& 312/836-7000 for details on ho w to
obtain one, although this is probably not a
realistic option for a short-term visitor).
However, if y ou pur chase a Chicago
Card (the CT A's cr edit car d-sized far e
cards that automatically deduct the exact
fare each time you take a ride), the cost per
ride is less—$1.75 per ride. The reusable
cards can be purchased with a preset value
already stored, or riders can obtain cards at
vending machines located at all CTA train
stations and charge them with whatev
The best way to tour Chicago is b y walk-
ing its str eets. Fortunately, it's also one of
the easiest ways to get ar ound with kids.
But when walking is not practical—such
as when mo ving betw een distant neigh-
borhoods or getting around on cold winter
days—Chicago's public train and bus sys-
tems are efficient modes of transportation.
In fact, they may be the least expensiv e
way of entertaining your child while visit-
ing the city.
The Chicago Transit A uthority (CT A)
operates an extensive system of trains and
buses throughout the city of Chicago. The
sturdy system carries about 1.5 million
passengers a day . S ubways and elev ated
trains (known as the E l) are generally safe
and r eliable, although it 's advisable to
avoid long rides through unfamiliar neigh-
borhoods late at night.
The bus and the E l each hav e pros and
cons when traveling with kids. Parents with
infants might prefer the El, since carrying a
baby and a str oller up the bus steps (then
paying the fare and finding a seat as the bus
lurches into traffic) requires strength, coor-
dination, and ner ves of steel. U ntil y our
child can climb up steps, the easy-on, easy-
off advantage of the E l makes it the better
choice (in spite of the fact that y ou might
amount they choose (a minimum of $2
and up to $100). If within 2 hours of your
first ride y ou transfer to a bus or the E l,
the turnstiles at the El stations and the fare
boxes on buses will automatically deduct
from your card just the cost of a transfer
(25¢). I f y ou make a second transfer
within 2 hours, it's free. The same card can
be recharged continuously.
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