Public Transport In Chicago

The best way to get around the Windy City!

Your Guide To Public Transport In The Windy City

As you set out to uncover the mysteries and marvels of Chicago, let Magnifico Tours guide you through the city’s diverse public transport options.
The iconic ‘L’ Train offers panoramic views of the skyline, while the extensive bus network ensures you can reach every corner with ease.
For swift commutes, taxis and rideshares are readily available, and those keen on an eco-friendly journey can opt for bikes and shared scooters.
Experience Chicago from its waterways with scenic water taxis and ferries, providing a refreshing vantage point of the city’s landmarks.
Finally, as we shall see, our public transport prioritizes inclusivity and is designed to cater to differently-abled individuals, guaranteeing a hassle-free exploration for all.
Dive into this guide to navigate Chicago efficiently and make the most of your time in the Windy City.

Chicago’s Different Public Transport Systems

The ‘L’ Train

The O.G. of our public transport system, the ‘L’ train is the city’s elevated rail system and connects major city hubs. Popular routes include the Red Line to Wrigley Field and the Blue Line to O’Hare Airport. Tip: Purchase a Ventra card for seamless travel and discounts on multiple rides.

The Bus Network

Chicago’s bus network spans the city, with key routes like #151 taking you along the scenic lakefront. The #66 bus heads to Navy Pier, a must-visit. Tip: Use real-time tracking apps like Transit to minimize wait times and plan your journey.

Taxis & Rideshares

Taxis and rideshares like Uber and Lyft are abundant in Chicago. They’re ideal for quick commutes or late-night rides. Tip: Share your ride details with someone for safety, especially during late hours.

Biking & Shared Scooters

Chicago’s bike-friendly streets and lakefront trails offer scenic rides. Platforms like Divvy provide bike-sharing options. Tip: Always use designated bike lanes and wear a helmet for safety, even on short trips.

Water Taxis & Ferries

Water taxis operate on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, offering unique city views. The Riverwalk route is particularly scenic. Tip: Opt for sunset rides for a mesmerizing cityscape view.

Accessibility In Public Transit

Bus Routes

All CTA bus routes utilize accessible buses, equipped with lifts and ramps. These are available upon request, aiding those with mobility challenges or temporary difficulties with steps.

‘L’ Train Stations

More than 100 CTA rail stations (including most of those at major tourist spots) are accessible. All CTA trains have features like designated wheelchair spots, ensuring a smooth ride for everyone.

Water Taxis & Ferries

Chicago’s water taxis and ferries prioritize accessibility. While many vessels are wheelchair-friendly, always check specific features and services before your journey for a seamless experience.

Safety Tips & Recommendations


Peak Hours (7-9am, 4-6pm)

These hours see the highest traffic. Avoid for a more comfortable commute and less waiting.

Off-Peak Hours (10am-3pm)

Enjoy a relaxed journey during these quieter hours. Ideal for sightseeing without the rush.

Late Night (After 10pm)

Traveling post 10pm? Stay vigilant, opt for group commutes, and choose well-lit stations and stops for enhanced safety.

Helpful Apps & Resources

Seeking comprehensive details on Chicago’s public transit? The Transit Authority website is the city’s official transit portal.

To conveniently manage & purchase ‘L’ train fares, download the Ventra App, its official mobile ticketing app.

Navigate Chicago’s transit system with ease using the Transit App, a trusted mobile guide for city commuting.

Secure your city parking spot in advance with SpotHero, a digital platform that simplifies urban parking.

Embrace eco-friendly commutes in Chicago with DivvyBike, the city’s official bike-sharing system.

Ditch the coins and pay for street parking seamlessly through ParkChicago, the city’s dedicated parking payment app.

Discover and rent bikes across Chicago using PBSC, a renowned bike-sharing platform.

Find the perfect parking space without the hassle using ParkWhiz, a user-friendly parking reservation service.


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