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Navigating Chicago Public Transportation

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As the third largest metropolis in the U.S., navigating Chicago can be tricky initially. Luckily, its vast public transportation routes are ranked among the best in the nation! 

If you plan on moving to Chicago, we’ve got you covered. After reading this guide, you’ll have a deeper understanding of public transportation in Chicago, making it easy to navigate no matter where you’re headed.

How to Use Public Transportation in Chicago

The first step to understanding how to use public transportation in Chicago is understanding the city geographically. Chicago's streets are organized on a grid system. Madison Street divides the city into a north and south region, whereas State Street divides it into an east and west portion. 

Besides walking, there are several ways to get around the city, including:

Let’s look at them in more detail. 

Using the Chicago Transportation System

The Chicago rail system is called “The L,” making up eight rapid transit routes across the city. There are 145 stations throughout Chicago, meaning it’s easy to get anywhere you need to go for work, school, or recreation. The red and blue lines are available twenty-four-seven. The system map explores each of the stops and what hours of the day each of the L lines runs.

Chicago locals have nicknamed the transportation system “the L” because some parts of the rail system are elevated above ground. Buses are also available throughout the city and stop frequently (about every three blocks). To keep tabs on when the bus is coming, consider downloading the CTA Bus Tracker on your phone.

How Much is Public Transportation in Chicago? 

The full cost to ride the L train for a one-way trip is $2.50 per passenger, $1.25 for a reduced rate, or $.75 for students. 

However, most locals who use the L-trains regularly are better off opting for an unlimited ride pass. Unlimited ride passes are available in one-day, three-day, seven-day, or 30-day increments, depending on your usage. For example, a 30-day unlimited ride pass is $75 for one month (at full price).

The price for riding the bus in Chicago differs slightly from the L-train pricing. Bus fare is $2.25 per ride (or $2.50 if paying cash) and $1.25 at a reduced rate/$0.75 for students. Chicago’s bus system is referred to as “PACE.”

Do I Need a Car in Chicago?

If you’re moving to the city from a rural area,  you might be debating whether or not to bring your car. You don’t necessarily need a car to get around in Chicago. Some new residents find using Chicago Public Transportation less stressful than using their own vehicles.

While having a car has many perks, it also has some disadvantages. Navigating around Chicago in a car can be stressful for new residents, and parking can be challenging and expensive. 

Move to Chicago with Ease with AAA Movers

With Chicago’s exceptional public transportation system, it’s easy to explore everything the Windy City offers. If you’re planning a move to Chicago, AAA Movers is here to help. 

Wherever you’re headed, we’ve got you covered as your partner in a stress-free moving experience. Contact us today for a free quote!

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