Chicago Metro: L

Chicago has a Metro system (subway metro – Metro Chicago) supplemented by a commuter rail system. It is popularly known as the Chicago ‘L’ (for Elevated) and is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

Chicago has a Metro system (subway metro – Metro Chicago) supplemented by a commuter rail system. It is popularly known as the Chicago ‘L’ (for Elevated) and is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

The current system comes originally from a rapid transit system on surface, which opened in 1892, and today, it is the third busiest U.S. Metro and the second oldest behind New York.

Chicago Metro Lines

The metro system consists of 8 lines that come together in a ring called Loop (historically Union Loop) located in the center of the city where it is possible to combine five of the eight lines (brown, green, pink, purple and orange).

Of the remaining three, the Blue Line and Red Line operate underground under the loop, connecting with the stations of the Loop, and the Yellow line, neither connect nor passes through the Loop. The Loop (circuit) is named so because it ciculates in a rectangular shape around Lake Street on the north, Wabash Avenue on the east, Van Buren Street on the south, west and Wells Street.

  • Red Line runs from north to south through the city center from station Howard to station Dan Ryan 95th, with 35 km and 34 stations. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is the line that transports the largest number of passengers.
  • Blue Line runs from the northwest to the center and west of the center, that is O’Hare station to Racine station with a branch that arrives to the Forest Park station. They are 43 km and 33 stations. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Brown Line loop extends from the city center to the north and snakes to northeast. Circulates from Kimball station to Loop station with 18 km and 26 stations. It is a line with more than one century of service.
  • Green Line extends west to the center, south and center. Circulates from Harlem station to Garfield station, with two branches: Ashland Branch Station and East 63rd Branch station. They are 30 km and 29 stations.
  • Orange Line runs from Midway station to Adams station. Are 21 km and 17 stations
  • Purple Line runs from downtown to the north and splits in two: a common line from Linden station to Howard station and express line from Howard station to Clark station. It has a length of 6 km and 27 stations.
  • Yellow Line is located in North Chicago it is a shuttle "express" service from Howard station to Skokie station , without stops. They are 8 km and 2 stations. It is the only CTA line that does not connect or pass through the Loop.
  • Pink Line begins in the loop and circulates along with the green line from to the center to the west, and south to the center. It is divided into two branches: Douglas Branch and Paulina Connector. This it is the newest of the lines. They are 18 km and 22 stations

Future expansions:

Currently there are several extensions on study:

  • Extension of the Red Line south to 130th Street
  • Extension of theYellow Line from Skokie to Old Orchard
  • Orange Line Extension Midway Airport to Ford City

Flickr - Shinrya - Chicago Metro - The Loop

Major stations:

Howard Station, connecting Purple, Red and Yellow lines, Belmont and Fullerton station where Brown, Purple and Red lines pass, and Lake and State stations where Red, Orange, Purple and Brown lines connect.

Opening hours

From 04:00 am to 00:00 am, but the Red and Blue lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Frequency step

Varies from 2.5 minutes during peak hours to 15 minutes at night.

Fares and Tickets

  • One-way ticket costs 2.25$ (+ 25 cents per transfer). For children 7 to 11 years and +65 years, costs $ 1
  • Pass valid for one day 5.75$ (valid for buses, trains and metro)
  • Pass valid for 3 days  14.00$ (valid for buses, trains and metro)
  • Pass valid for 7 days 23.00$ (valid for buses, trains and metro)
  • Pass valid for 30 days 86.00$ (valid for buses, trains and metro)

You can buy your passes online from the CTA store, from vending machines at certain train stations, or at retail locations around town.

More info:


The city of Chicago has two airports: O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway.

The Chicago O’Hare International Airport is 32 km northwest of downtown Chicago and is one of the world’s busiest airports.

CTA Blue Line provides direct service to the airport. Access to the station through a pedestrian tunnel from Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The trip between the airport and downtown Chicago takes about 45 minutes and costs just 2.00$.

The blue line runs 24 hours and all trains leaving from the airport arrive to the city center.Also the city center is accessible by bus. The Continental Airport Express buses depart every 5-10 minutes from O’Hare. The trip to downtown Chicago costs about $ 17.50. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks next to the International Terminal and at lower levels of Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

The Chicago Midway Airport is located 16 km southwest of Chicago’s financial district and mainly operates domestic flights.

The Midway Orange Line train station is located near the terminal building, there you can buy the ticket at a cost of 2.25$ or a 1 day card for unlimited travel to 5.75$ .The Orange line arrives to the center of the city in just 25 minutes.The service operates all day, except from 01:00 a.m to 04:00 am or from 23:00 on Sundays. There is a night bus available, the N62 bus Archer.

Transfers between O’Hare and Midway Airport.

The service given by Omega Airport Shuttle. It is convenient and cheap to do the transfer between the two Chicago airports, O’Hare and Midway. The cost of the trip is $ 17.00.

Buses depart from the International Terminal at O’Hare to Midway every hour from 6:40 a.m. until 23:40 p.m.. Buses also leave from the O’HareShuttle Center to Midway traveling every hour from 06:45 a.m. to 23:45p.m.

Buses depart from Midway to O’Hare International Airport every hour from 07:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m.


This post is also available in: French German Spanish Portuguese (Brazil)