Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Tips Ticket to Ride
Visitors may consider buying a Visitor Pass, which works like a fare card and
allows individual users unlimited rides on the El and C TA buses over a 24-hour
period. The 1-day cards cost $5 and are sold at airports, hotels, museums, Hot Tix
outlets, transportation hubs, and Chicago Office of Tourism visitor information
centers. You can also buy them in advance online at or
by calling & 888/YOUR-CTA (968-7282). Also available now are 2-, 3-, and 5-day
passes (they cost $9, $12, and $18, respectively). Although the passes save you
the trouble of feeding the fare machines yourself, remember that they're eco-
nomical only if you plan to make at least three distinct trips at least 2 or more
hours apart. (You get two additional transfers for an additional 25¢ on a regular
Fare car ds can be used on buses, but
you can't buy a card on the bus. If you get
on the bus without a fare card, you'll have
to pay $2 cash (either in coins or in dollar
bills); the bus drivers cannot make change,
so make sur e that y ou've got the right
amount before hopping onboard.
ates a useful telephone information service
( & 312/836-7000 or TTY 312/836-
4949 from any ar ea code in the city and
suburbs) that functions daily from 5am to
1am. When you want to know how to get
from where you are to where you want to
go, call the CT A. M ake sur e that y ou
specify any conditions you might require—
the fastest r oute, for example, or the sim-
plest (the route with the fewest transfers or
the least amount of walking), and so forth.
You can also check out the CT A's website
at . E xcellent
comprehensive CTA maps, which include
both El and bus r outes, are usually av ail-
able at subway or El stations, or by calling
the CTA. The CTA also has added a toll-
free customer ser vice hot line ( & 888/
YOUR-CTA [968-7282] or TTY 888/
CTA-TTY1 [282-8891] M on-Fri 7am-
8pm, with v oice mail operating after-
hours) to field questions and feedback.
Although the far e-box system has elimi-
nated the need for ticket agents, agents are
still av ailable at some E l stations to offer
customer assistance.
transit system operates sev en major lines,
which the CTA recently began identifying
by color (although Chicagoans often still
refer to them by their points of origin): the
Red Line (also known as the Howard/Dan
Ryan Line) r uns nor th-south; the Green
Line (also kno wn as the Lake S t. Line)
runs w est-south; the Blue Line (also
known as the O'H are Line) r uns w est-
northwest to O'H are Airport; the Brown
Line (also kno wn as the Rav enswood
Line) runs in a nor thern zigzag route; the
Orange Line r uns southw est, ser ving
Midway airport, and the Pink Line runs
east-west fr om the loop , ser ving Cicer o.
The Purple Line, which runs on the same
Loop elev ated tracks as the O range and
Green lines, ser ves north suburban E van-
ston only during rush hour.
Study your CTA map car efully (there's
one printed on the inside back co ver of
this guide) befor e boar ding any train.
Most trains r un ev ery 5 to 20 minutes,
decreasing in fr equency in the off-peak
and o vernight hours, but some stations
close after work hours (as early as 8:30pm)
and r emain closed on S aturday, S unday,
and holidays. O nly two lines operate 24
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