Chicago Transit Authority

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is the operator of mass transit in Chicago, Illinois and some of its surrounding suburbs, including the trains of the Chicago "L" and CTA bus service.

The CTA is an Illinois independent governmental agency[2] that started operations on October 1, 1947 upon the purchase and combination of the transportation assets of the Chicago Rapid Transit Company and the Chicago Surface Lines streetcar system. In 1952, CTA purchased the assets of the Chicago Motor Coach Company, which was under the control of Yellow Cab Company founder John D. Hertz, resulting in a fully unified system. Today, the CTA is one of the three service boards financially supported by the Regional Transportation Authority and CTA service connects with the commuter rail Metra, and suburban bus and paratransit service, Pace.

Chicago Transit Authority
Chicago Transit Authority Logo
Willow portal 070826
A CTA Red Line train
FoundedOctober 1, 1947
Headquarters567 West Lake Street, West Loop, Chicago, Illinois
LocaleChicago, Illinois & inner-ring suburbs
Service typeBus and Rapid Transit
RoutesBus: 140, Rail: 8
FleetBus: 1,879, Rail: 1,190
Daily ridershipBus: 872,090, Rail: 787,430 Total: 1.66 million (June 2015)
Fuel typeDiesel, Diesel-electric hybrid, Electric-Drive Motor/Battery
OperatorSelf
Chief executiveDorval R. Carter, Jr.[1]
WebsiteTransitChicago.com

Operations

CTA Ridership
Annual passenger boardings on CTA buses and trains from 1988 to 2012

The Chicago Transit Authority provides service in Chicago and 10 surrounding suburbs. The CTA provided a total of 532 million rides in 2011,[3] a 3 percent increase over 2010 with ridership rising to levels not seen for 20 years.[4]

CTA operates 24 hours each day and on an average weekday provides 1.7 million rides on buses and trains. It has approximately 1,800 buses that operate over 140 routes traveling along 2,230 route miles (3,658 km). Buses provide about one million passenger trips a day and serve more than 12,000 posted bus stops. The Chicago Transit Authority's 1,450 train cars operate over eight routes and 222 miles (357 km) of track. Its trains provide about 750,000 customer trips each weekday and serve 145 stations in Chicago and seven suburbs.[5]

Currently, the CTA operates in Chicago and the bordering suburbs of Forest Park, Evanston, Skokie, Oak Park, Summit, Cicero, Berwyn, North Riverside, Rosemont, and Wilmette.

Fare collection

CTA Night
View of the "L" from Adams/Wabash in the Loop.
CTA loop junction
The junction at the northwest corner of the Loop.

The CTA accepts payment with a Ventra Card which can be purchased with a single-ride, 1 day unlimited ride ($10), 3 day unlimited ride ($20), 7 day unlimited ride ($28), 30 day unlimited ride ($105), a Ventra disposable ticket, contactless credit or debit card, and certain smartphones. Unlimited ride Ventra cards/tickets are only valid for one passenger. CTA buses also accept cash. Up to three children under 7 can ride free with a fare-paying rider.

The CTA has many free and discounted fare options, for elementary, middle, and high school students, college and university students, people with disabilities, senior citizens, and military service members.

Cash

Only buses allow riders to pay directly with cash at a farebox and no change is given. Exact fare is required. Since January 7, 2018, the bus full fare is $2.50, disabled & seniors is $1.25 and students is $.75. No cash transfers are available. Previously, some rail station turnstiles accepted cash but this feature has been removed in an effort to speed up boarding. Cash at rail stations is only accepted at Ventra Vending Machines to purchase Ventra paper fare cards.

Transit Cards

The CTA no longer sells Transit Cards. All remaining Transit Cards must have been used by July 1, 2014.[6] In its place CTA has adopted the Ventra Card system. The Ventra Card can be purchased online, Ventra Vending Machines at CTA rail stations, and at authorized retailers like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacies and check cashing locations.

Ventra

Ventra is an electronic fare payment system for the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace that replaced the Chicago Card and the Transit Card automated fare collection system. Ventra (purportedly Latin for "windy," though the actual Latin word is ventosa)[7] launched in August 2013, with a full system transition slated for July 1, 2014.[8][9] The Ventra payment system includes several options of payment, including a contactless smart card powered by RFID, a single day or use ticket powered by RFID, any personal bank-issued credit card or debit card that has an RFID chip, and a compatible mobile phone. Which includes Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. [10] Ventra is operated by Cubic Transportation Systems.[11]

Riders when using Ventra pay ($2.25/Bus, $2.50/Rail). Disabled & seniors who are 65 or older pay ($1.10/Bus $1.25/Rail). Elementary and high school students 7-20 years old: Valid 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on school days pay $.75 during school hours and pay $1.10 during weekends and holidays. Transfers within two hours are $.25 full fare, $.15 for disabled, senior and students.

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay & Contactless Bank Cards

Ventra readers on buses and rail station turnstiles can accept contactless payments directly from mobile devices. Riders can pay a PAYG fare ($2.50 w/no transfer) by touching mobile phones with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay—or any contactless bankcard with the contactless wave symbol.[12]

Connections - CTA TV show

The Chicago Transit Authority produced a monthly television show, Connections, from May 2003 through March 2011. The show was hosted by Dale Rivera (episodes 1 - 42), Jeanne Sparrow (episodes 43 - 78), and Omar Barragan (episodes 79-92). Connections was broadcast on City of Chicago Public-access television cable TV channels 23 & 49, as well as on Comcast's CN100 in the Chicago media market, including areas of Michigan and Indiana.

Connections featured news and information about the CTA and services it provides. Individual segments from Connections are available on CTA's YouTube channel [1].

Equipment

As mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 for all transit operators in the U.S., all CTA buses are handicap accessible, and the ramp on every bus is available for use upon request by anyone who has trouble with steps, even temporarily. The majority of train stations CTA operates have elevators or ramps to provide access for customers with disabilities. All trains include accessible rail cars.

CTA provides the means to view alerts regarding elevator status at the CTA's Elevator Status Alerts page[13] or by calling an Elevator Status Hotline at 1-888-YOUR-CTA. Accessibility alert notifications also appear, by default, in CTA "Train Tracker", a station arrival prediction tool appearing on its website.

History

19680609 41 CTA Rapid Transit @ Kenton Ave. (5629455595)
L trains used to allow passengers to put arms out of window
Chicago Marmon 9728 on route 85-Central Ave, 1968
A trolley bus serving route 85-Central in 1968

Until 1973, CTA's fleet included a large number of electric trolley buses – or "trolley buses", as they were commonly known at the time.[14] In the 1950s, the fleet of around 700 trolley coaches was the largest such fleet in the U.S., and represented about one-quarter of CTA's total number of surface-transit vehicles (motor bus, trolley bus and, until 1958, streetcar). Due to the January 26-27, 1967 Chicago Blizzard, in which CTA trolley buses were unable to manuever around abandoned automobiles without dewiring, the crucial decision was made to discontinue trolley bus service. Trolley bus service was phased out in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and trolley buses ran for the last time on March 25, 1973.[14][15]

CTA buses were known as the "green limousine" or the "big green" — buses were one or more shades of green from the CTA's establishment through the end of the 1980s. With the delivery of the TMC RTS buses in 1991, a more patriotic color scheme was adopted, and the green scheme was fully phased out by 1996. A notable color scheme was the "Bicentennial" of about 1974 to 1976.[16]

CTA bought very few buses between the mid-1970s and the end of the 1980s. During this time, purchases were only made in 1979 (20 MAN/AM General SG 220 articulated buses), 1982-83 (200 Flyer D901 buses and 125 additional MAN articulateds), and 1985 (362 MAN Americana standard-length buses). Another aspect of this period was that with the exception of the 1979 and 1983 MAN orders, none of those buses had air-conditioning, a budget saving move by the CTA. The 1972-76 fleet of GM "New Look" buses, 1870 total, which were originally air-conditioned (although there were problems with the air-conditioning systems, resulting in their eventually being disabled and sliding windows installed in the buses), composed the majority of vehicles in service into the early 1990s.

Today CTA's current fleet of buses is mostly dominated by New Flyer's D40LF, numbered 1000-2029, which replaced buses that were built in 1991 and 1995. In 2014, CTA ordered 300 new buses from Nova. The number increased to 325 after it exercised an option. The buses are numbered 7900-8324. The Authority exercised another option for an additional twenty-five buses, numbered 8325-8349, from Nova. The buses were assigned to the Forest Glen and 103rd St. garages, and began service on its routes February 23, 2019.

The rail orders of the CTA include the last railcar stock built by the Budd Company and rail cars built by Boeing-Vertol and Morrison-Knudsen. The most recent order was from Bombardier.

In 2014, the CTA received their first electric buses from New Flyer, making the CTA the first major U.S. transit agency to use the new wave of electric buses as part of a regular service.[17]

Active Fleet

Year Manufacturer & Model Length Engine Type Numbers Assigned Garages Notes
2000–2002 NovaBus
LFS
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 6400–6883
(484 buses)
Forest Glen
  • Retirement in progress
2006–2009 New Flyer
D40LF
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 1000–2029
(1,030 buses)
74th, 77th, 103rd, Chicago, Forest Glen, Kedzie, North Park
2006 New Flyer
DE40LF
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel-Electric Hybrid 800–809
(10 buses)
Kedzie
  • 1 unit remaining in service
2008–2009 New Flyer
DE60LF
60 ft (18.29 m) Diesel-Electric Hybrid 4000–4207
(208 buses)
103rd, Kedzie, North Park
  • Rehabilitation in progress
2012–2013 New Flyer
DE60LFR
60 ft (18.29 m) Diesel-Electric Hybrid 4300–4332
(33 buses)
103rd, North Park
2012–2013 New Flyer
D60LFR
60 ft (18.29 m) Diesel 4333–4399
(67 buses)
103rd, North Park
2014–2019 NovaBus
LFS
40 ft (12.19 m) Diesel 7900–8349
(450 buses)
74th, 77th, 103rd, Chicago, Forest Glen
2014 New Flyer
XE40
40 ft (12.19 m) Electric 700–701
(2 buses)
77th
  • Electric test buses
  • 1 unit suffered fire damage and is out of service.
2019 Proterra
Catalyst BE40
40 ft (12.19 m) Electric 600–619
(20 buses)
Chicago
  • On Order

Notes:

Bus garages

20120521 13 Canal St. near Madison St.
1000-series New Flyer D40LF bus
20130302 07 CTA Bus Shuttle
A 4300-series New Flyer DE60LFR bus being used as an "L" shuttle
Chicago Elevated Train
A 4-car train of 3200-series cars pulls into State/Lake
  • Forest Glen Garage, 5419 W. Armstrong Avenue, (Elston/Bryn Mawr)
  • North Park Garage, 3112 W. Foster Avenue, (Foster/Albany)
  • Chicago Garage, 642 N. Pulaski Road, (Chicago/Pulaski)
  • Kedzie Garage, 358 S. Kedzie Avenue, (Van Buren/Kedzie)
  • 74th Garage, 1815 W. 74th Street, (74th/Wood)
  • 77th Garage, 210 W. 79th Street, (79th/Wentworth)
  • 103rd Garage, 1702 E. 103rd Street, (103rd/Stony Island)

Active 'L' rolling stock

  • Ten (10) prototypes of the 5000 series were received in 2009, and entered passenger testing in April 2010, with 396 more ordered once the tests were completed.[19]
  • On July 20, 2011, CTA announced the order of 300 more railcars, bringing the total ordered to 706 at a cost of about US$1 billion.[20]
Series Year Manufacturer Assigned Lines Quantity Notes
2600-series 1981–1987 Budd Company, rebuilt by Alstom, 1999–2002[18] Blue, Brown, Orange Yes 503
3200-series 1992–1994 Morrison-Knudsen Blue, Brown Yes 253
5000-series 2009–2015 Bombardier Transportation Pink, Green, Red, Yellow, Purple Yes 714
Upcoming
7000-series 2019–TBA CRRC Sifang America TBA Yes 846

CTA Radio Operations

Channel Frequency Usage
Ch. 1 472.93750 CPD Transit Detail
Ch. 2 470.98750 Rail Emergency
Ch. 3 470.53750 Supervisors - North (includes buses)
Ch. 4 470.63750 Supervisors - South (includes buses)
Ch. 5 471.03750 Blue Line Operations (Forest Park & O'Hare) & Pink Line Operations (54th/Cermak & the Loop)
Ch. 6 471.06250 Green Line Operations (Harlem/Lake, Cottage Grove & Ashland/63rd) & Orange Line Operations (Midway & the Loop)
Ch. 7 471.08750 Brown Line Operations (Kimball & the Loop), Purple Line Operations (Linden, Howard & the Loop) & Yellow Line Operations (Skokie & Howard)
Ch. 8 471.11250 Red Line Operations (Howard & 95th/Dan Ryan)
Ch. 9 44.54000 Rail Operations

Security and safety

After the September 11 attacks, CTA announced its "If you See Something, Say Something" campaign.[21] CTA has also installed a security camera network,[22] and a system to send real time images from cameras in buses directly to emergency responders.[23]

CTA has also been actively prosecuting vandals, announcing on several occasions that felony convictions were obtained against persons who spray painted authority vehicles.[24]

See also Chicago 'L' concerning incidents on the rapid transit system.

Technology

The CTA installed GPS Bus Tracker systems on all buses starting with the 20 (Madison St) bus in 2006[25] before expanding it to other routes in 2008.[26] The original claim justifying the addition of this technology was that it would reduce the issue of bunching buses. The system also allows riders to be able to determine the location of buses online.

A report prepared by the CTA claims that there was a decrease in bus bunching from 3.9% to 2.3% from 2007 to 2009, but the report neither demonstrated a direct connection between Bus Tracker and this reduction in bunching, nor did it show whether this was a temporary or permanent phenomenon.[27]

CTA has also made its Bus Tracker and other developer tools available,[28] and is making Bus Tracker arrival data available through text messaging.[29] One of the first applications of the Bus Tracker Developer Tools involved the installation of monitors showing the information in several businesses in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.[30] Using the developer API published by CTA, some augmented CTA bus tracking applications have been developed for mobile phones,[31] and CTA has its own Transit App Center, featuring applications developed by others. CTA also has a train tracker (Beta starting January 2011), and it can also be accessed through a computer, smart phone, or text messaging.[32]

Public art

The CTA is home to a collection of art – including mosaics, sculptures and paintings. More than 50 pieces of art are exhibited at over 40 CTA stations.[33]

According to the CTA's website, the original pieces of artwork contribute to each station's identity and enhance travel for customers. Art promotes a friendly, inviting atmosphere for these stations, which serve as gateways to the communities they serve.

Many of the pieces are a result of the Arts in Transit Program, which is funded by the Federal Transit Administration and coordinated locally through the City of Chicago's Office of Tourism and Culture. A number of other pieces were created through the CTA's Adopt-A-Station program and through partnerships with organizations such as the Chicago Public Art Group.[34]

Arts in Transit

In 2004, the CTA and the City of Chicago Public Art Program installed nine permanent works of art at eight renovated rail stations on what is now known as the Pink Line. The CTA has since created an ongoing program to showcase permanent works of art in conjunction with the City of Chicago Public Art Program. The Arts in Transit Program is funded by the Federal Transit Administration, and created opportunities to develop original artwork for station reconstruction projects along the CTA Red and Brown Lines. Artists were selected for each of the stations included in the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project and select renovated Red Line stations. By the completion of the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project in 2010, original artwork was installed in each of the 18 renovated stations along the CTA's Brown Line. By combining the visibility and accessibility of the city's mass transit system with the creativity of Chicago's art resources, this program resulted in a successful public display of professional works of art designed with input from nearby communities. This program provided high-profile locations for public art and server as a gateway to communities served by the CTA stations. Media under consideration included, but were not limited to, mosaics, art glass, ornamental fencing, mixed-media artwork, and freestanding sculpture and furniture. The CTA and the City of Chicago Public Art Program, administered by the Office of Tourism and Culture, encouraged and facilitated collaborations between artists, government agencies, the community and other partners. The City of Chicago Public Art Program accepted qualifications from local and national professional artists or artist teams capable of creating permanent public works of art for the CTA Arts in Transit Program for the renovated stations.

CTA promotes its Public Art with a video and online gallery.

See also

References

  1. ^ "News/Press Releases". CTA. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  2. ^ "CTA Facts at a Glance". TransitChicago. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  3. ^ "CTA - Ridership - Annual Boarding Totals". City of Chicago data portal. City of Chicago. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
  4. ^ Hilkevitch, Jon. "CTA ridership jumps to highest level in 20 years". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  5. ^ Most recent ridership information is provided in the President's, Budget, and Financial Reports on the Board Presentations page of CTA's website.
  6. ^ "Transitioning to Ventra". CTA. Archived from the original on 2014-06-20. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  7. ^ Mancini Nichols, Chrissy. "Talking Transit: Chicago transit gets open payment system". Metropolitan Planning Council. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Ventra FAQ". CTA. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  9. ^ Thomas, Monifa (14 March 2014). "Ventra cards become only way to pay starting July 1". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Ventra". CTA. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  11. ^ Hilkevitch, Jon (20 Mar 2013). "CTA's Ventra debit option rife with fees". Red Eye Chicago. Chicago Tribune Company. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  12. ^ "How-To: Paying with Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay". Ventra. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  13. ^ "CTA Elevator / Accessibility Status". CTA. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  14. ^ a b Sebree, Mac; and Ward, Paul (1974). The Trolley Bus in North America, pp. 49–60. Los Angeles: Interurbans. LCCN 74-20367.
  15. ^ Murray, Alan (2000). World Trolleybus Encyclopaedia, p. 79. Yateley, Hampshire, UK: Trolleybooks. ISBN 0-904235-18-1.
  16. ^ "Harry Gershen photograph at busdrawings.com".
  17. ^ Hilkevitch, Jon (October 29, 2014). "CTA testing 2 all-electric buses". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  18. ^ Chicago Transit Authority Train Collides with Bumping Post and Escalator at O’Hare Station (PDF) (Report). National Transportation Safety Board. March 14, 2014. NTSB/RAR-15-01.
  19. ^ "CTA to Begin In-Service Testing of New Rail Cars" (Press release). CTA. April 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  20. ^ "Chicago orders 300 more 5000-series metro cars". Railway Gazette International. July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  21. ^ "CTA Security & Safety". CTA.
  22. ^ "Mayor Daley, CTA and CPD Officials Test Mobile Security Network" (Press release). CTA. 2006-12-02.
  23. ^ "CTA to Test Mobile Security Network to Enhance Safety on System" (Press release). CTA. 2006-03-16.
  24. ^ "Vandal Sentenced to Prison for Defacing CTA Property" (Press release). CTA. 2008-03-21.
    "CTA Vandal Receives Felony Conviction for Criminal Defacement and Trespass" (Press release). CTA. 2007-12-19.
  25. ^ "Mayor Daley, CTA Launch Bus Tracking Pilot". CTA. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  26. ^ "CTA Expands Bus Tracker Program". CTA. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  27. ^ Ben Meyerson (December 16, 2009). "Bus bunching down 40% since 2007, CTA report says". Chicago Current.
  28. ^ "Developer Center". CTA.
  29. ^ "CTA Bus Tracker Information Now Available On-Demand via New Text Messaging Feature" (Press release). CTA. December 22, 2009.
  30. ^ Steve Bryant (December 14, 2009). "Bus Trackers Installed at Wicker Park Shops". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
  31. ^ "Search Results for 'cta'". Apple.com. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  32. ^ "Transit App Center". CTA. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  33. ^ "Online Gallery - Public Art on CTA". CTA.
  34. ^ "Public Art on CTA - video". CTA.

External links

Addison station (CTA Red Line)

Addison is a Chicago "L" station on the Chicago Transit Authority Red line. It is located in the Wrigleyville area of the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, at 940 West Addison Street with city block coordinates at 3600 North at 940 West. Addison directly serves the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, the city's north side Major League Baseball team and its stadium. The station is served by the Red Line.

The station is within the shadow of the historic baseball stadium.

Ashland branch

The Ashland branch (Englewood branch) is a 3.0 mi (4.8 km) long branch currently operated by the Green Line "L" of the Chicago Transit Authority, serving the Englewood and West Englewood neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois.

Blue Line (CTA)

The Blue Line, also known as the O'Hare-Congress Line and the West-Northwest Line, is a 26.93-mile-long (43.34 km) Chicago "L" line which extends through the Loop from O'Hare International Airport at the far northwest end of the city, through downtown via the Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway and across the West Side to its southwest end at Forest Park, with a total of 33 stations. It is the CTA's second busiest rail line, with an average of 186,796 passengers boarding each weekday in September 2012.

The Blue Line and Red Line are two routes of the Chicago "L" system that operate 24 hours a day every day of the year, and the CTA is one of only five rapid transit systems in the United States to do so (the others are the PATCO Speedline, Staten Island Railway, the PATH system, and the New York City Subway). The Blue Line is also one of only two lines with more than one station with the same name, with the Green Line being the other (It has two stations at Harlem Avenue: one in the Kennedy Expressway on the Northwest side and one on the south side of the Eisenhower Expressway in Forest Park, Illinois. It also has two stations on Western Avenue: one on the O'Hare branch and one on the Congress branch). The Blue Line also has only three in-system transfers (all in the Loop), contains a combination of both the oldest and newest portions of 'L' tracks, and does not share tracks with any other 'L' line.

Before the adoption of color-coded names, the Blue Line was referred to as the West-Northwest Route (which it is still sometimes referred to as today) or more commonly, the O'Hare-Congress-Douglas route for its three branches. The Congress and Douglas branches were renamed for their terminals, Forest Park and 54th/Cermak, when the current color naming system was adopted in 1993. Blue Line service on the Douglas Branch was discontinued in April 2008 and replaced by the Pink Line.The Blue Line is one of five 'L' lines that run into Chicago suburbs, with the others being the Green, Purple, Pink, and Yellow lines. The Blue Line actually runs through three, making it the rail line that runs through the most suburbs on the Chicago 'L' system.

Brown Line (CTA)

The Brown Line (or the Ravenswood Line) of the Chicago "L" system, is an 11.4-mile (18.3 km) route with 27 stations between Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood and downtown Chicago. It runs completely above ground and is almost entirely grade-separated. It is the third-busiest 'L' route, with an average of 63,481 passengers boarding each weekday in 2017.Before CTA lines were color-coded in 1993, the Brown Line was known as the Ravenswood Route; specifically, the series of stations from Belmont to Kimball were called the Ravenswood branch. Accordingly, the Kimball-Belmont shuttle service was called the Ravenswood Shuttle.

Chicago "L"

The Chicago "L" (short for "elevated") is the rapid transit system serving the city of Chicago and some of its surrounding suburbs in the U.S. state of Illinois. Operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), it is the fourth-largest rapid transit system in the United States in terms of total route length, at 102.8 miles (165.4 km) long as of 2014, and the second-busiest rail mass transit system in the United States, after the New York City Subway. In 2016, the "L" had 1,492 rail cars, eight different routes, and 145 train stations; average weekday ridership was 759,866.The "L" provides 24-hour service on some portions of its network and is one of only five rapid transit systems in the United States to do so. The oldest sections of the Chicago "L" started operations in 1892, making it the second-oldest rapid transit system in the Americas, after New York City's elevated lines.

The "L" has been credited with fostering the growth of Chicago's dense city core that is one of the city's distinguishing features. It consists of eight rapid transit lines laid out in a spoke–hub distribution paradigm focusing transit towards the Loop. The "L" gained its name because large parts of the system run on elevated track. However, portions of the network are also in subway tunnels, at-grade level, or in open cuts.In a 2005 poll, Chicago Tribune readers voted it one of the "seven wonders of Chicago", behind the lakefront and Wrigley Field, but ahead of Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the Water Tower, the University of Chicago, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Chicago (band)

Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968 before shortening the name in 1969. The original founding members include bassist Peter Cetera, guitarist Terry Kath, keyboard player Robert Lamm, horn players Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, and Walter Parazaider, and drummer Danny Seraphine. Cetera, Kath, and Lamm shared vocal duties. Kath died in 1978, and was replaced by first Donnie Dacus and later Chris Pinnick on guitars. Bill Champlin joined as an additional keyboardist in 1981, and founding bassist Peter Cetera left for a solo career in 1985, to be replaced by Jason Scheff. Seraphine left the band in 1990, to be replaced by drummer Tris Imboden. The remaining founding members (Lamm, Loughnane, Pankow, and Parazaider) have remained active in the band through continued line-up changes, and the band currently includes the four founders, joined by Keith Howland on guitars, Lou Pardini on keyboards, Walfredo Reyes Jr. on drums and percussion, Neil Donell on acoustic guitar, and Brett Simons on bass. Ray Herrmann joined the band in 2016 as a touring saxophonist for founder Walter Parazaider, who remains an official band member, but frequently cannot tour due to health troubles.

The self-described “rock and roll band with horns” began writing politically charged rock music, and later moved to a softer sound, generating several hit ballads. The group had a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In September 2008, Billboard ranked Chicago at number thirteen in a list of the top 100 artists of all time for Hot 100 singles chart success, and ranked them at number fifteen on the same list produced in October 2015. Billboard also ranked Chicago ninth on the list of the hundred greatest artists of all time in terms of Billboard 200 album chart success in October 2015. Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups, and one of the world's best-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 100 million records. In 1971, Chicago was the first rock act to sell out Carnegie Hall for a week.To date, Chicago has sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum, and 8 multi-platinum albums. They have had five consecutive number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and 20 top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1974 the group had seven albums, its entire catalog at the time, on the Billboard 200 simultaneously. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, original band members Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and James Pankow were elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame for their songwriting efforts as members of the music group.

Chicago Transit Authority (album)

Chicago Transit Authority is the self-titled debut album by the Chicago-based rock band Chicago Transit Authority, later known as Chicago. It was recorded and released in 1969. For this inaugural recording effort the group was nominated for a Grammy Award for 1969 Best New Artist of the Year. The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014. The album stayed on the Billboard 200 for 171 weeks, setting the then record for a rock album's longevity at 155 weeks and has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

East 63rd branch

The East 63rd branch (Jackson Park branch) is a 1.5 mi (2.4 km) long branch operated by the Green Line "L" of the Chicago Transit Authority, serving the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.

List of Chicago "L" stations

The Chicago "L" is a rapid transit system that serves the city of Chicago and seven of its surrounding suburbs. The system is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). On an average weekday, 749,700 passengers ride the "L", making it the second-busiest rapid transit system in the United States, behind the New York City Subway.The system began as three separate companies, which built lines traveling from Chicago's central business district to the south and the west. The first of these was the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad which opened on June 6, 1892. The Lake Street Elevated Railroad opened the following year and the Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad followed in 1895. Initially, the "L" lines operated independently of each other, but in 1897, they were combined into one physically unified system with the completion of the Union Loop and connecting trackage. In 1900, the Northwestern Elevated Railroad entered operation, finalizing the basic structure of the system: a hub and spoke distribution paradigm radiating north, west, and south from downtown Chicago. The system expanded outward from this with new branches or line extensions until 1930.

Due to the ruined financial state of the privately owned Chicago Rapid Transit Company and the Chicago Surface Lines, a public agency (the CTA) was created in 1947 to take over and save the rapid transit and streetcar systems. Starting in 1948, the CTA began systematically shutting down many stations and lines that saw little use in order to improve service and reduce costs. Expansion resumed in September 1969 with the opening of a new line in the median of the Dan Ryan Expressway and continued until October 31, 1993, with the opening of the Orange Line. The newest line—the Pink Line, which opened on June 25, 2006—was created by rerouting the Blue Line's Douglas branch into a separate service.As of February 2015, the system has 146 stations on eight lines operating on 224.1 miles (360.7 km) of track. A total of 98 stations are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and are accessible to passengers with disabilities. The majority of "L" stations are named for the streets or intersections on which they are located; others are named for neighborhoods, suburbs, destinations, or a combination of these. The newest station is Washington/​Wabash, which opened on August 31, 2017.

List of Chicago Transit Authority bus routes

This is a list of bus routes operated by the Chicago Transit Authority.

The N4 (between 63rd/Cottage Grove and Washington/State only), N9 (between 95th/Dan Ryan and North/Clark only), N20 (between Michigan and Austin only), N22 (between Howard and Harrison only), N34 (between 95th/Dan Ryan and 131st/Ellis only), N49 (between 79th and Berwyn only), N53 (between Harrison and Irving Park only), N55 (between Museum of Science and Industry and 55th/St. Louis only), N60 (between Washington/State and 54th/Cermak only), N62 (between Washington/State and Midway), N63 (between Midway and 63rd/Stony Island only), N66 (between Chicago/Pulaski and Washington/State only), N77 (between Octavia and Halsted only), N79 (between Western and Lake Shore Drive only), N81 (between Jefferson Park Blue Line station and Wilson/Marine Drive only), and N87 (between Western and the 87th Red Line station only), routes all run 24/7.

Northwest Branch (CTA)

The Northwest branch was a rapid transit line which was part of the Chicago 'L' system from 1895 to 1951. The Northwest branch fed the Humboldt Park and Logan Square branches. It opened on May 6, 1895 and closed on February 25, 1951, when it was replaced by the Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway.

Orange Line (CTA)

The Orange Line is a rapid transit line in Chicago, Illinois run by the Chicago Transit Authority as part of the "L" system. It is approx. 12.5 miles (20.1 km) long and runs at grade and serves the Southwest Side, running from the Loop to Midway International Airport. In September 2012, the average weekday boardings on the Orange Line were 63,037.

Pink Line (CTA)

The Pink Line is an 11.2 mi (18.0 km) rapid transit line in Chicago, run by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) as part of the Chicago "L" system. It is CTA's newest rail line and began operation for a 180-day trial period on June 25, 2006, running between 54th/Cermak Station in Cicero, Illinois and the Loop in downtown Chicago. The route to the Loop follows tracks shared with Green Line trains on Lake Street, connected by the previously non-revenue Paulina Connector. In September 2012, the average weekday boardings on the Pink Line was 33,737. The Pink Line does not make any 'L' train transfers on the Douglas Branch. The Pink Line operates between 54th/Cermak and the Loop, weekdays from 4:05 a.m. to 1:25 a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 5:05 a.m. to 1:25 a.m.

Purple Line (CTA)

The Purple Line (or the Evanston Line) of the Chicago Transit Authority is a 3.9-mile (6.3 km) route on the northernmost section of the Chicago "L" rapid transit system. Normally, it extends south from Linden Avenue in Wilmette, passing through Evanston to Howard Street, on Chicago's north side. In 2016, the average weekday boardings on the Purple Line was 10,187.

During weekday rush hours, the Purple Line extends another 10.3 miles (16.6 km) south from Howard Street to downtown Chicago running express from Howard Street to Belmont Avenue, with a single stop at Wilson Avenue, and then making all local stops to the Loop. The express service is known as the Purple Line Express.

Prior to the color-coding of CTA rail lines in 1993, the Purple Line was known as the Evanston Line, Evanston Service or Evanston Shuttle, and the Purple Line Express was called the Evanston Express.The Purple Line is useful for reaching Northwestern University (Foster and Noyes stops in Evanston), including the sports facilities Ryan Field (stadium), Rocky Miller Park, Welsh-Ryan Arena, and Canal Shores Golf Course all at the Central Street stop and the Bahá'í House of Worship at the Linden stop. The selection of purple as the line's color was likely from Northwestern's official school color being purple.

Red Line (CTA)

The Red Line, sometimes known as the Howard-Dan Ryan Line or the North-South Line, is a rapid transit line in Chicago, run by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) as part of the Chicago "L" system. It is the busiest line on the "L" system, with an average of 251,813 passengers boarding each weekday in 2012. The route is 23.4 miles (37.7 km) long with a total of 33 stations, from Howard station in Rogers Park on the north side, through the State Street subway and to 95th/Dan Ryan in Roseland on the south side. Like the Blue Line, the Red Line runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; the CTA is one of only five rapid transit systems in the United States to do so (the others being the PATCO Speedline, Staten Island Railway, the PATH system, and the New York City Subway). A proposed extension adding four new stations would extend the Red Line south from 95th/Dan Ryan to 130th Street.

South Side Elevated

The South Side Elevated is a branch in Chicago, run by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) as part of the Chicago "L" system. It is an active branch that is served by the Green Line, with the Roosevelt station, that is also served by the Orange Line. It has on average 12,509 passengers, counting branch divisions, boarding each weekday as of February 2013, according to the CTA. The branch is 6.5 miles (10.5 km) long with a total of 8 stations, and runs from the Near South Side to the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago. The branch runs from 3:50 a.m. to 1:05 a.m. on weekdays, 4:50 a.m. to 1:05 a.m. on Saturdays and 4:50 a.m. to 1:05 a.m. on Sundays/Holidays.

Stock Yards branch

The Stock Yards branch was a rapid transit line which was part of the Chicago 'L' system from 1908 to 1957. The branch served the Union Stock Yards and the Canaryville neighborhood of Chicago and consisted of eight elevated stations. It opened on April 8, 1908, and closed on October 6, 1957.

The Loop (CTA)

The Loop (historically Union Loop, or commonly Loop) is the 1.79-mile (2.88 km) long circuit of elevated rail that forms the hub of the Chicago "L" system in Chicago, Illinois. As of 2012, the branch has served 74,651 passengers every weekday. The Loop is so named because the elevated tracks loop around a rectangle formed by Lake Street (north side), Wabash Avenue (east), Van Buren Street (south), and Wells Street (west). The railway loop has given its name to Chicago's downtown, which is known as the Loop. Numerous accounts assert that the use of this term predates the elevated rail, deriving from the multiple cable car turntables, or loops, that terminated in the district, and especially those of two lines that shared a loop, constructed in 1882, bounded by Madison, Wabash, State, and Lake. However, transportation historian Bruce Moffat has concluded that "The Loop" was not used as a proper noun until after Charles Yerkes' 1895–97 construction of the elevated structure.

Westchester Branch

The Westchester branch was a rapid transit line which was part of the Chicago "L" system from 1926 to 1951. The branch served the suburbs of Forest Park, Maywood, Bellwood, and Westchester, and consisted of nine stations. It opened on October 1, 1926 and closed on December 9, 1951.

Lines
Branches
Stations
Yards
Rolling
stock
Operators
Other
Rapid transit
Commuter rail
Streetcar
Interurban
Inter-city
People mover
Agencies
Common carriers
Passenger carriers
Private carriers
Heritage railroads
Currently operating heavy rail rapid transit systems in the United States

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