Chicago L

Chicago L Information

 Chicago ‘L’ is a rapid transit system that serves Chicago city and its surrounding suburbs in Illinois, USA. The system began operations on 6th June 1892, and presently has 8 lines that serve 145 stations. The system has a total track length of 165.4 km (102.8 miles).  The system is operated by Chicago Transit Authority. As per 2013 statistics, the metro system had an average daily ridership of 726, 459 passengers and an annual ridership of 229.12 million passengers.

Chicago L Map

Map of Chicago L System showing various lines and stations. Click on the map to enlarge it or Download Chicago L PDF Map.

Map of Chicago L Metro

Chicago L Hours

The Red and Blue lines operate throughout the day, all days of the week. All the remaining lines have slightly varying schedules and start between 4:00-5:00 am and run until 1:00 am to 2:00 am the next day. On weekends and public holidays, the service starts a little late.

Chicago L Fares, Tickets and Cards

A single journey fare for an adult is 2.25$ and the reduced fare is 1.10$. Students also get discounted fares, and the fare for them for single journey is 0.75$. Transfers are allowed within two hours and up to two additional rides for an additional fare of 0.25$ for adult, and 0.15$ for students and as reduced fare.

Various types of passes are also available. A CTA 1-Day Pass costs 10$ and provides unlimited rides for duration of one day. A CTA 3-Day Pass costs 20$ and provides unlimited rides for a period of three consecutive days. A CTS 7-Day Pass provides unlimited rides for seven consecutive days, and it costs 28$. A CTA/Pace 7-Day Pass costs 33$. A CTA /Pace 30-Day Pass costs 100$. All the passes can be loaded onto a Ventra card at any Ventra vending machine. These can also be loaded onto a personal contactless bank card.

The ‘L’ Train fare from O’Hare station is 5$ for adult. The reduced fare is 1.10$, and the student fare is 0.75$. Riders can also use personal contact less bank cards and pay fare under ‘pay as you go’, where fare is deducted when the card is used. The fare deducted with this card for single journey is 2.25$ for adult and 1.10$ is the reduced fare.

Passengers can purchase a Metra Link-up Pass which is valid on CTA on Monday-Friday from 6:00 am to 9:30 am and 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm. It can be used on Pace at all times of the day. This pass is sold by Metra and is used with Metra monthly ticket. It costs 55$.

A 1-Day CTA Pass Ventra Ticket costs 10$ and can be purchased from Ventra vending machines. It provides unlimited rides for 24 hours.

Full time students can purchase U-Pass which provides unlimited rides on the CTA during the time the person is enrolled as a full time student. It is valid on CTA buses and trains. The card is valid for four years.

Senior citizens and people with eligible disabilities get reduced fares.

For more information on fares, visit

Pass Price
1-Day CTA Pass $10
3-Day CTA Pass $20
7-Day CTA Pass $28
7-Day CTA/Pace Pass $33
30-Day CTA/Pace Pass $100

Chicago L Parking

Chicago L offers daily parking facilities to metro passengers. You will require paying $5.00 on the blue line for 12 hours parking. On pink line the fare is $2.00 for 12 hours parking and on brown line and orange line, the parking fee is $5.00 for 12 hours. Monthly parking facilities are also available.

Chicago L Rules and Tips

Smoking and drinking alcohol is prohibited on the metro network. Carrying of explosives and weapons is strictly prohibited.  Transit of small pets is allowed provided they are carried inside carriers. Service animals accompanying disabled people are allowed on the metro. Bicycles can be carried on the CTA trains on all days, without a fee. Park and ride facilities are provided at metro stations for a fee. Different parking rates are applicable for different stations.

Chicago L Lines

Chicago L offer services through 8 lines and all the lines are officially identified by color.

  • Red line – Red line consists of Howard, State Street Subway and Dan Ryan branches. It is the busiest route serving 268,580 passengers on weekdays and the line offer services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The route is 35km long serving 33 stations. The red line offer service from Howards Street Terminal moving towards downtown Chicago through the State Street Subway and then it reaches 95th Street on the South side. Extension plan of this route is currently being considered.
  • Blue line – The blue line consists of O’Hare, Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway and Congressional branches. The route is 43km long serving 33 stations. It is the second busiest line that offers service from O’Hare International Airport in Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway.
  • Brown line or Ravenswood line – The route is 18 km long serving 19 stations. The route offer service between Kimball Avenue and Loop in Downtown Chicago.
  • Green line – The green line consists of Lake Street Elevated, South Side Elevated, Ashland and East 63rd branches. The line is 33.5km long with 29 stations. The line offer service between Forest Park and Oak Park through the Loop.
  • Orange line – The orange line is 21km long and it runs from Chicago Midway International Airport to the Loop in Downtown Chicago.
  • Purple line – The purple line is 6km long and it offers service from north of Suburban Evanston and Wilmette to the Loop during weekdays and during rush hours. The local service connects red and yellow line. The purple line consists of branches Evanston Shuttle and Evanston Express.
  • Pink line – The pink line consist of branches Douglas branch and Pauline Connector. The line is 18km long and it offers service from Douglas Park via Paulina Connector and the touches Green line to the Loop.
  • Yellow line – the yellow line is 8km long serving 3 stations and it runs from Howard Street Terminal to Skokie Terminal and the line operates as nonstop shuttle.

Brown, Green, Orange, Pink and Purple line serves downtown Chicago via the Loop. Orange, Purple and Pink line runs clockwise and brown line runs counter clockwise.

Chicago L Pictures

Chicago L Resources