Chicago’s train system makes it a breeze to get from one end of the city to the other without the hassle of driving or finding a taxi. The L – short for “elevated train” – began operating in the Loop in 1897, and expanded into eight different routes and 145 stations, taking travelers to both airports, through the city, and into some suburbs.
Train rides cost $2.25. Riders can transfer to the bus or between lines three times for $0.25, if each transfer is within two hours of the previous ride. From O’Hare, fare is $5. Riders can also purchase one-, three-, seven-, or thirty-day passes, for $10, $20, $28, $100 respectively.
The Loop is the downtown area, where the Brown, Purple, Orange, and Pink lines meet and make a loop before returning the way they came. Green lines also run along some of these stations, but do not complete the circle.
Stations of Note
• Addison is next to Wrigley Field, where the Cubs play, as well as the Wrigleyville and Boystown areas of the city.
• Belmont and Fullerton offer free and easy transfers to the Brown and Purple lines.
• Chicago and Grand are along the Michigan Avenue shopping area.
• Lake, Monroe, and Jackson are inside the Loop.
• Monroe is the closest Red Line stop to the Art Institute.
• Roosevelt is the closest stop to Museum Mile, where the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium are, as well as Soldier Field, where the Bears play. This stop also offers free transfers to the Green and Orange line.
• Sox/35th is next to U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox Play.
• O’Hare Airport is the northernmost stop.
• Logan Square takes riders to Logan Square.
• Damen and Division are in the Wicker Park area of town.
• Lake, Washington, Monroe, and Jackson are inside the Loop.
• Illinois Medical District is the closest stop to the United Center, which hosts concerts and is where the Bulls and Blackhawks play.
• Clark and Lake connects to the Thompson Center, which has shops and many government facilities.
• Adams and Wabash is closest to the Art Institute of Chicago.
• Midway Airport is the southernmost stop.
Green and Pink Lines
• The Clinton-Green, Morgan-Lake, and Ashland-Lake stops go into the West Loop area, which has some of the best restaurants in town.