Next time you get the chance to travel to Chicago pay close attention to people when they talk about the“L”.
At first, you might be a bit confused, but if you use context to figure things out you are sure to understand quite quickly.
So what is it?
The “L” is the name locals have given to the Elevated
rapid transit system that serves the city of Chicago as
well as its surrounding suburbs. Just like Paris has
RATP, Chicago has CTA (Chicago Transit Authority).
Now…what makes this transit system unique?
The majority of the lines are elevated outside of the city
center. Red, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Purple,
Pink, and Yellow are the colors of the 8 different
lines that make up the spoke-hub construction.
With a total route length of 165.4 kilometers, the “L”
is the fourth-largest rapid transit system in the
United States. However, it is the second-busiest rail
mass transit system in the United States, after the
New York City Subway.
All lines except for yellow lead to what is known as
the “Loop”. The “Loop” contains eight stations and
runs both clockwise (Orange, Purple, Pink) and
counter-clockwise (Brown). It forms a rectangle that
encompasses what can be considered the heart of downtown.
At $2.25 (full fare) and $1.10 (reduced fare), you
can pretty much get anywhere in the city by using
the “L” and the other options that the CTA
proposes. And one of the most convenient things
about the “L” is that it is connected to both
Midway and O’Hare International airports making
Chicago a great place to fly in and out of when
visiting the “Midwest” (North Dakota, South
Dakota Nebraska, Kansas, Mississippi, Iowa,
Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan,
Indiana, and Ohio). The next time you plan a trip
to the United States, make sure to include Chicago
amongst your list of places to visit. Riding the “L”,
you will be able to discover the many amazing
things that make Chicago such a great city!