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) and is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority. Not only is it the fourth largest metro rail transit in the USA but it is also the third busiest metro rail transit in the USA. Such is the popularity of this metro system that in a 2005 poll, the readers of the Chicago Tribune voted it as one of the “seven wonders of Chicago”. So it does not come as a surprise when we learn of the fact that it’s annual ridership is 238.5 million (2014) people.

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.


Chicago L Timings, Frequency and Schedule

One among the 5 other stations in the USA, the Chicago L boasts of having a 24 hour service in some parts of their network. The Red and Blue line, are the only two lines that function for 24 hours, everyday. Rest of the lines operate from 4:00-5:00 am in the morning until 1:00-2:00 am, the next day.

For information on the frequency and schedule of the trains from each station, you can visit the official website at:

Chicago L Fares, Tickets and Cards

A single journey fare for an adult costs 2.25$ and the reduced fare costs 1.10$. Students make use of a discounted fares of 0.75$ for a single journey. 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 people elgible for reduced fares.

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$.

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 the fares,tickets and cards, you can visit the official website at:

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

Red Line:

Station Cost and Time limit Spaces Operator

7474 N. Rogers Ave.

●      $5 for 12 hours with ticket validation (regular garage-set rates apply thereafter).

●      Ticket validator is located across from the turnstiles, in the paid area, on the 3rd floor of the Paulina/bus terminal entrance of the Howard station.

592 Standard Parking


(312) 274-2110

Blue Line:

Station Cost and Time limit Spaces Operator

5801 N. River Rd.

●      $5 for 0-14 hours


●      $8 for 14-18 hours

●      $12 for 18-24 hours

798 CPS Parking


(888) 578-PARK


5800 N. Cumberland Ave.

●      $5 for 12 hours

●      $6 for 12 to 14 hours

●      $8 for 14 to 16 hours

●      $10 for 16 to 18 hours

●      $12 for 18 to 24 hours

●      Each additional 24 hours (or fraction thereof) $12.00

●      Lost ticket: $36.00

1633 CPS Parking


(888) 578-PARK


(O’Hare branch)

5550 N. Harlem Ave.

●      $5.00 for 12 hours 53 CPS Parking (888) 578-PARK
Forest Park

711 S. Des Plaines Ave.

●      $5.00 for 12 hours


●      $100 monthly

1051 CPS Parking (888) 578-PARK

Above are the parking charges for the Red and Blue Line only. All stations offer park and ride facilities. Frequent users of this facility even have the option of reserving their parking on a monthly basis.

For parking information on all the metro lines of the Chicago L, you can visit the official website at:

Chicago L Rules and Tips

Smoking, gambling, use of e-cigarettes, graffiti, spitting, peddling, sexual conduct, loud devices that may disturb others, weapons and alcohol are some of the things that are prohibited within the premises of the metro network. Small animals that can be carried safely in cages and animal to help the disabled, are the only kind of animals that can use this system.

Mothers can carry their children on board, on open strollers. Photography and videography are prohibited as well.

For more information on the policies & practices of the metro system, you can visit the official website at:

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.

The Loop: With a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s busiest railroad crossing, the Loop serves 8 stations with an average of 72,843 weekday boardings.

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