How is Chicago's public transportation

Chicago subway

Metros in USA: Chicago L

The rapid development of Chicago at the end of the 19th century made it necessary to build a much more efficient transport system than the horses used at the time. It was too costly to build an underground transport system, so elevated rails were chosen. In 1892 the forerunner of the modern metro started operating. Back then it was only a steam locomotive that could transport a dozen people. These original rails still exist today as part of the green line.

The technological advances of the time brought enough income to build two additional lines. However, none of these lines reached the city center due to regulations of the time that required a large number of permits to complete construction in the area. Thanks to Charles Tyson Yerkes, the necessary permits were obtained in 1897 and the construction of today's "loop" began.

Since then, the system has expanded to connect the existing lines with the "loop" and build lines that allow Chicago residents and visitors to move around the city with ease.

Lines and stations

The Chicago subway system consists of eight lines, seven of which run through a section of downtown known as the "loop", a rectangle about three kilometers in length. This is the busiest part of Chicago's metro system.

The entire system is 165.4 kilometers long and has 145 stations on eight lines. In addition to providing transportation within the city, the Chicago subway also connects the surrounding suburbs. Each line has a route name and color, but it is the color that is used for reference.

Red line

This line is the busiest line on the Chicago Metro. Its 33 stations extend over 37.7 kilometers (23.4 miles) beginning at Howard station in the north, through the State Street underground section and ending at 95th / Dan Ryan station in Roseland in the south. Like the blue line, the red line operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

  • Line color: Red
  • Number of stations: 33
  • length: 37.7 kilometers (23.4 miles)
  • Total duration of the trip: 65 minutes
  • Time schedule: This line operates 24 hours a day, every day of the week.

Train Stations: Howard, Jarvis, Morse, Loyola, Granville, Thorndale, Bryn Mawr, Berwyn, Argyle, Lawrence, Wilson, Sheridan, Addison, Belmont, Fullerton, North / Clybourn, Clark / Division, Chicago, Great, Lake, Monroe, Jackson , Harrison, Roosevelt, Cermak-Chinatown, Sox-35th, 47th, Garfield, 63th, 69th, 79th, 87th, 95th / Dan Ryan

Blue line:

The blue line begins at O'Hare International Airport in the northeast of the city. It leads through the "loop" and ends in the extreme southeast at Forest Park station. It is the second strongest line after the red line. It also runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This line has a station with the two repeating names. They are Harlem and Western that drivers need to pay special attention to to avoid confusion. The repetitive names are differentiated depending on which section of the line you are in.

Chicago
  • Line color: Blue
  • Number of stations: 33
  • length: 43.3 kilometers (27 miles)
  • Total duration of the trip: 46 minutes
  • Time schedule: This line runs every day, 24 hours a day.

Train Stations: O'Hase, Rosemont, Cumberland, Harlem (O'Hare Section), Jefferson Park, Montrose, Irving Park, Addison, Belmont, Logan Square, California, Western (O'Hare Section), Ladies, Department, Chicago, Big, Clark / Lake, Washington, Monroe, Jackson, LaSalle, Clinton, UIC-Halsted, Racine, Illinois Medical District, Western (Forest Park Section), Kedzie-Woman, Pulaski, Cicero, Austin, Oak Park, Harlem (Forest Section Park), forest park

Brown line:

This line has 27 stations over a length of 18 kilometers (11.18 miles). It starts and ends at Kimball Station. After leaving Kimball Station in the northeast of the city, the route continues to the "Loop" section, which runs counter-clockwise, stops at all stations on the "Loop" and returns to Kimball the same way.

  • Line color: Brown
  • Number of stations: 27
  • length: 18.3 kilometers (11.18 Miles)
  • Total duration of the trip: 43 minutes (from Kimball to Clark / Lake, the last stop on the "loop")
  • Time schedule: 4:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday and from 5:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Train Stations: Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell, West, Ladies, Montrose, Irving Park, Addison, Paulina, South Harbor, Belmont, Wellington, Diverse, Fullerton, Fittings, Sedgwick, Chicago, Commodity Market, Washington / Wells, Quincy, LaSalle / Van Buren, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Adams / Wabash, Washington / Wabash, State / Lake, Clark / Lake

Green line

The green line offers two different connections that start in Harlem / See, go through the "loop" and branch off after Garfield station to arrive at two different terminals: Ashland / 63. and Cottage Grove. It is the only line in the Chicago subway system that is completely elevated and also uses the oldest sections of the system.

  • Line color: Green
  • Number of stations: 30
  • length: 33.3 kilometers (20.7 miles)
  • Total duration of the trip: 57 minutes to Cottage Grove and 61 minutes to Ashland / 63.
  • Time schedule: Both routes run on weekdays from 4:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. and on weekends from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Train Stations: Harlem / Lake, Oak Park, Ridgeland, Austin, Headquarters, Laramie, Cicero, Pulaski, Conservatory-Centrak Park Drive, Kedzie, California, Ashland, Morgan, Clinton, Clark / Lake, State / Lake, Washington / Wabash, Adams / Wabash, Roosevelt, Cermak-McCormick Place, 35th Bronzeville-IIT, Indiana, 43rd, 47th, 51st, Garfield

Cottage Grove: King's Drive, Cottage Grove

Ashland / 63: Halsted, Quader / 63.

Orange line:

The 16 stations on this line lead from Midway International Airport to the "loop." Like the brown line, the orange line circles the "loop" and returns on the same route until it reaches Midway again.

  • Line color: Orange
  • Number of stations: 16
  • length: 20.1 kilometers (12.5 miles)
  • Total duration of the trip: 33 minutes to Adams
  • Time schedule: 3:30 a.m. to 1:25 a.m. on weekdays and from 4:30 a.m. to 1:25 a.m. on weekends.

Train Stations: Middle, Pulaski, Kedzie, West, 35er / Archer, Aschenland, Halsted, Roosevelt, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, LaSalle / Van Buren, Quincy, Washington / Wells, Clark / Lake, State / Lake, Washington / Wabash, Adams / Wabash

Chicago

Purple line:

This line typically runs from Linden to Howard and crosses nine train stations, but has an additional express line that connects the suburbs of Evanston and Wilmette with downtown Chicago. During peak hours (5:20 am to 10:15 am and 2:30 pm to 7:15 pm), the purple line extends from Howard to the terminus on the "loop."

  • Line color: Purple
  • Number of stations: 26 stations during rush hour and 9 stations outside of rush hour
  • length: 24 kilometers (15 miles)
  • Total duration of the trip: 12 minutes from Linden to Howard and 52 minutes from Linden to Washington / Wells
  • Time schedule: 4:25 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 4:30 am to 2:10 pm on Friday; 5:05 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. on Saturday and 6:05 a.m. to 1:45 a.m. on Sunday.

Train Stations: Linde, Headquarters, Noyes, Foster, Davis, Dempster, Main, South Boulevard, Howard

During peak hours: Wilson, Belmont, Wellington, Diverse, Fullerton, Armaturen, Sedgwick, Chicago, Warenmarkt

Pink Line:

This is Chicago's newest 22-station line that connects Cicero to downtown Chicago. Like the other lines, the pink line starts and ends at the same station. After exiting station 54th / Cermak, this line reaches the "loop" and returns after Washington / Wells station on the same route.

  • Line color: Pink
  • Number of stations: 22
  • length: 18 kilometers (11.2 miles)
  • Total duration of the trip: 42 minutes to Washington / Wells train station
  • Time schedule: 4:05 am to 1:25 am on weekdays and 5:05 am to 1:25 am on weekends.

Train Stations: 54th / Cermak, Cicero, Kostner, Pulaski, Central Park, Kedzie, California, West, Ladies, 18th, Polk, Ash Country, Morgan, Clinton, Clark / Lake, State / Lake, Washington / Wabash, Adams / Wabash , Harold Washington Library / Van Buren, LaSalle / Van Buren, Quincy, Washington / Wells

Yellow line

The yellow line is the only line on the Chicago subway system that does not go through the "loop". Its three stations extend eight kilometers (five miles) from Howard Station in northern Chicago via Evanston to Skokie.

  • Line color: Yellow
  • Number of stations: 3
  • length: 8.2 kilometers (5.1 miles)
  • Total duration of the trip: 8 minutes
  • Time schedule: 4:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. on weekdays and 6:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. on weekends.

Railway stations: Dempster-Skokie, Oakton-Skokie, Howard

Travel times and frequency

Red line and blue line:

As two of the few lines in the United States that operate continuously, the blue and red lines run 24 hours, every day of the year. On weekdays, they run every 2-7 minutes during rush hour and every 7-8 minutes outside of rush hour. On Saturdays they run every 10 minutes in the morning, every 6-7 minutes during the day and every 6-8 minutes at night. On Sundays, the subways run every 10 minutes in the morning, every 6-9 minutes during the day and every 10 minutes at night.

Brown line:

This line operates from 4:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 5:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. On weekdays, the subway runs every 3-8 minutes during rush hour, every 7-8 minutes during the day and every 6-12 minutes at night.

Green line

The two lines run from 4:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. on weekdays and from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. on weekends.

Orange line:

This line operates on weekdays from 3:30 a.m. to 1:25 a.m. and on weekends from 4:30 a.m. to 1:25 a.m.

Purple line:

This line operates from 4:25 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 4:30 a.m. to 2:10 a.m. on Friday, and 5:05 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, and 6:05 a.m. to 1:45 a.m. On Sunday.

Yellow line

This line runs on weekdays from 4:45 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. and on weekends from 6:15 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.

Chicago Loop

links

Connections between Chicago's eight metro lines are free and unlimited. Connections between the subway and buses cost $ 0.25 and allow for two additional trips within two hours.

Connections from the red line to other lines:

  • To the blue line: See, Jackson
  • To the brown line: Belmont, Fullerton, See, Jackson
  • To the green line: See, Roosevelt
  • To the orange line: See, Jackson, Roosevelt
  • To the purple line: Howard, Wilson, Belmont, Fullerton, Lake, Jackson
  • To the pink line: See, Jackson
  • To the yellow line: Howard

Connections from the blue line to other lines:

  • To the red line: Washington, Jackson
  • To the brown line: Clark / See, Jackson
  • To the green line: Clark / See
  • To the orange line: Clark / See, Jackson
  • To the purple line: Clark / See, Jackson
  • To the pink line: Clark / See, Jackson
  • To the yellow line: No connection
chicago metro

Connections from the brown line to other lines:

  • To the red line: Belmont, Fullerton, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, State / Lake
  • To the blue line: Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Clark / Lake
  • To the green line: Adams / Wabash, Clark / See
  • To the orange line: Washington / Wells, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Adams / Wabash
  • To the purple line: Belmont, Fullerton, Merchandise Mart, Washington / Wells, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Adams / Wabash, Clark / Lake
  • To the pink line: Washington / Wells, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Adams / Wabash, Clark / See
  • To the yellow line: No connections

Connections from the green line to other lines:

  • To the red line: State / Sea, Roosevelt
  • To the blue line: Clark / See
  • To the brown line: Clark / See, Adams / Wabash
  • To the orange line: Clark / See, Adams / Wabash, Roosevelt
  • To the purple line: Clark / See and Adams / Wabash
  • To the pink line: Ashland, Clinton, Clark / See, Adams / Wabash
  • To the yellow line: No connections

Connections from the orange line to other lines:

  • To the red line: Roosevelt, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren. State / Sea
  • To the blue line: Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren. Clark / Lake
  • To the brown line: Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Washington / Wells, Clark / Lake, Adams / Wabash
  • To the green line: Roosevelt, Clark / See, Adams / Wabash
  • To the purple line: Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Washington / Wells, Clark / Lake, Adams / Wabash
  • To the pink line: Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Washington / Wells, Clark / Lake, Adams / Wabash
  • To the yellow line: No connections
Chicago L

Connections from the purple line to other lines:

  • To the red line: Howard, Wilson, Belmont, Fullerton, State / Lake, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren
  • To the blue line: Clark / Lake, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren
  • To the brown line: Belmont, Fullerton, Merchandise Mart, Clark / Lake, Adams / Wabash, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Washington / Wells
  • To the green line: Clark / Lake, Adams / Wabash
  • To the orange line: Clark / See, Adams / Wabash, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Washington / Wells
  • To the pink line: Clark / See, Adams / Wabash, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Washington / Wells
  • To the yellow line: Howard
chicago metro

Connections from the pink line to other lines:

  • To the red line: State / Lake, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren
  • To the blue line: Clark / Lake, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren
  • To the brown line: Clark / See, Adams / Wabash, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Washington / Wells
  • To the green line: Ashland, Clinton, Clark / See, Adams / Wabash
  • To the orange line: Clark / See, Adams / Wabash, Harold Washington Library-State / Van Buren, Washington / Wells
  • To the purple line: Clark / See, Adams / Wabash, Washington / Wells
  • To the yellow line: No connection

Connections from the yellow lines to other lines:

  • To the red line: Howard
  • To the purple line: Howard

Prices, tickets and IDs

Ventra card:

This is a plastic rechargeable card that can be topped up with money for a metro or bus ride, or that can be used to purchase any of the badges available. It costs $ 5 and can be purchased and topped up on any station machine, via the online app, or anywhere in town.

Ventra card tariffs:

  • Metro ticket: $2,50
  • Bus ticket: $2.25
  • transfer: $ 0.25 (2 additional trips within 2 hours)
  • Unlimited day pass: $10
  • Unlimited 3-day ticket: $20
  • Unlimited 7-day pass: $28
  • Unlimited 30-day pass: $105
Chicago Metro

Single tickets:

If you do not want to use the Ventra card, you can buy individual tickets from the machines at each station.

  • Single ticket: $ 3 (valid for three trips within two hours)
  • Single ticket from the airport: $ 5 (valid for three trips within two hours)
  • Unlimited 1 day ticket: $10
  • Unlimited 3-day ticket: $20

Rules, tips and warnings

  • On some lines, such as the blue line, you will find two stations with the same name. Before you leave, consult the map carefully to make sure you get off and head to the correct stations.
  • With the exception of the yellow line, all lines go through the "loop" which is a great way to make connections between the lines.
  • The red line and the blue line operate 24 hours, but that doesn't mean that passengers are always present. The stations are deserted and can be dangerous late at night and early in the morning.

Notable facts

  • With a total length of 165 kilometers, the Chicago subway is the fourth largest in the United States.
  • Not only is it the fourth largest subway system, but it is also the second largest in the United States, after the city of New York.
  • The red line and blue line operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year, making the Chicago Metro one of only six subway systems in the United States to offer 24-hour service.
  • The oldest sections of the Chicago metro started operating in 1892, making it the second oldest subway system in America after the elevated subway sections in New York City.
  • Drivers often refer to the Chicago Metro as the "L," a nickname it received because of the elevated portion of the system.
  • The intersection at Lake and Wells in the Loop section is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's busiest intersection.
Chicago metropolitan area

Future expansions

One of the largest projects is the maintenance, modernization and expansion of the red line, the busiest line in the system. In addition to modernizing some red train stations, the project also includes an expansion from the current Terminal 95th / Dan Ryan to 130th Street.

In addition, work on the blue line to modernize the stations and eliminate the low-speed zones along the route is currently being completed. This project is expected to reduce travel times between O'Hare Airport and downtown by up to 10 minutes.

Connections to the airport

Chicago has two airports: Midway International Airport and O'Hare International Airport, which is considered the busiest airport in the world. The Chicago subway has direct connections to both airports:

  • Midway International Airport: The orange line takes the driver directly to the airport.
  • O'Hare International Airport: The blue line takes the driver directly to the airport.

Sightseeing by subway

  • Willis Tower: This 442-meter-high, 110-story skyscraper was once the tallest building in the world. Today, the balconies known as skyboxes have glass floors that are great for city views. The brown, orange, pink and purple line will take you to Quincy / Wells train station, which is five minutes from the tower.
  • Millennium Park: This is one of the most visited places in the city and the venue for numerous concerts and exhibitions. His famous sculpture, the Bean, is one of Chicago's icons and is just steps from the Art Institute. Five lines will take you to Washington / Wabash station, which is just minutes from the park.