Chicago's Elevated Train (or El as it is usually called) is the second oldest in the country (behind New York). Pieces of it date back to 1892. There are some stretches of the El below ground, but it is still called the El. In the movie, The Dark Knight, when Christian Bale was driving under some elevated tracks, that was under the El.
It costs $2.25 to ride no matter how far you want to go. Payment is taken when you enter the station. You can make as many transfers inside the station as you want. If you leave and transfer to a different station or a bus it costs 25 cents. Transfer rates last for two hours.
If you take the El during peak morning and evening commute times be prepared to be stuffed in to the cars like little sardines.
We have several lines (Red, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Yellow) and I have riden on all of them except the Yellow line. The Brown, Pink, Orange and Purple (when express) Lines run around the business area of downtown on an elevated circle called the Loop. The Green line also uses the Loops tracks, but only on the north and east sides. All the other lines that use the Loop make a P shape. They go to the Loop, circle around, stopping at each of the nine stations on the Loop and go back out again.
Red Line- This is the line that I live by. This runs north to the edge of Evanston at Howard Street and south to 95th/Dan Ryan. The Red Line serves both Wrigley (Cubs Stadium) and US Cellular Field (White Sox Stadium). The Red Line is underground from just north of the loop to just south of the loop. It is one of just two lines that run 24 hours.
Blue Line-This is the line that I take to class--well I take it to the shuttle that takes me to class. The Blue line runs from OHare through downtown (where it is underground) and then out to the west side. Pieces of this are underground as well.
Brown Line- This line has the stereotype of serving the "nicer" areas. Mostly it just doesn't serve any not nice areas. It runs from the north side down to the loop which it circles and then runs back to the north side again.
Green Line- This line utilizes the oldest pieces of track. Because of that, it has had much more recent construction, making it the line with the highest percentage of wheelchair accessible stations.
Orange Line- This line serves Midway Airport. It was constructed in the early 1990s. I prefer to fly out of Midway and have taken this line down to the Airport several times.
Pink Line- In 2006 the CTA overlaid new service on existing lines to create the Pink Line. The southern most branch of the Blue Lines and pieces of the Green Line were recommissioned to make more access to the train for those in the western areas.
Purple Line- This line serves Evanston, a suburb to the north. During morning and evening commute times it runs express from Howard (where the Red Line ends) down to Belmont, south of which it follows the Brown Line route.
I take the El all the time and find it very easy to navigate. I hardly ever bother with the buses as the El gets me where ever I need to go.
My Town Monday is the brain child of Travis Erwin. For other locations to visit please go to Travis' site here.
Monday, February 9, 2009
at 6:32 AM