15 May 2023 - 5 min read

Getting Around Chicago, USA

This metropolitan city is the capital of Illinois, United States of America. You can visit many destinations in this country nicknamed "the Windy City", like the Willis Tower Skydeck. From the top of the tallest tower in the world, you can see views of four other American states.

To visit these exciting places, you can use well-organized transportation that is very easy to access. Check out the full review of transportation recommendations that you can use while in Chicago below.

Chicago Travel Card

Source: Shutterstock @juliengrondin

Before taking public transportation, make sure you understand the payment process, whether paying cash or using a travel card. You can buy tickets at the station counter when you want to pay for transportation costs with cash. But you should use a special e-money card for a more affordable price.

This includes buying daily tickets. If you travel a lot, get a Ventra Card for cheaper fares. By using this card, you can even save up to 75 cents for each trip. The daily ticket conditions are 1 day for 10 dollars, 3 days for 20 dollars, and 28 for 7 days. You can buy this card at station counters or stores in Chicago and ask for help to register.

Transportation Options in Chicago

There are seven transportation options to get around Chicago that will make your vacation more memorable.

1. Metra

Source: Unsplash @gdtography

General information: Metra is a train that has a loop route around the city with several lines to cities near Chicago. This train has 242 stations, and you can use it every day for 24 hours straight. This schedule makes Metra a crowd favorite and one of the busiest rail systems in the United States.
Routes: 11 Metra rail lines connect anywhere, and the stations are connected to other modes of transportation. That way, when you get off the train, you can use other transportation to get to your destination.
Fares: The fee you need to pay to ride this train is usually 3-5 dollars depending on the distance.
Tips: Make sure you understand the color of the line so you can take the train according to your destination.

2. Chicago L

General information: Chicago L is one of the Chicago Commuter lines which is known for its crowdedness and speed. You can travel from 04.00 to 01.00 for all train departure lines. But if you need to travel 24 hours, you can only use the red and blue routes.
Routes: Chicago L has 8 lanes that are distinguished by color, namely red, blue, brown, green, orange, purple, pink, and yellow.
Fares: Payment can only use Ventra cards, 5 dollars for red and blue, the remaining 3 dollars.
Tips: Make sure the route and stop station for each line so you don't choose the wrong path. Don't forget to adjust your activity schedule with Chicago L's departure schedule so you won't be late.

3. CTA Bus

General information: This public bus in Chicago actually has a route that is almost similar to Chicago L, but more complete. You can reach many places that are not affordable by Chicago L, especially when you want to visit Hyde Park. Unfortunately, this bus does not operate for 24 hours, but only operates from morning to 10:00 at night. Not only that, you should also know that several lanes do not operate on weekends.
Fares: You only need to pay the same price, 2.25 dollars for all paths and routes. The method of payment can use a Ventra card or cash but if non-cash the price is more expensive.
Tips: Make sure you prepare the right money to pay because the bus does not provide change. Pay attention to the bus schedule and route so you don't choose the wrong bus, especially on weekends.

4. Taxi

Source: Unsplash @sakethgaruda

General information: If you want to travel practically, you can choose a taxi that you can quickly encounter. But remember that taxi costs are quite expensive, so you need to prepare enough money.
Fares: When using a taxi in Chicago you generally need to pay from 20 dollars to 50 dollars. The tariff calculation you pay will be determined based on the calculation of the agro meter and departure hours.
Tips: Ask for the estimated tariff before going up so that you are not surprised when paying.

5. Water taxi

General information: If you generally find a taxi for land routes, in Chicago you can find a water taxi. This water taxi operates only during the peak season, from late May to early September. You can go to the tourist attractions while enjoying the view of the river in beautiful Chicago. This taxi connects Pol Bros Park and Willis Tower, allowing you to visit both in one trip. There are 3 water taxi paths, starting from the Navy Pier to the southern shed loop aquarium.
Fares: There is a special price for children, around $4-5 while for adults tickets start at $8.
Tips: Although named “taxi”, it is actually not the same as a land taxi but similar to public transportation such as buses. So you need to provide the right money and also ensure a good departure schedule.

6. Texas Eagle Chicago

General information: Actually not a domestic train but an out-of-town train that will take you from Chicago to Texas. This train departs from Chicago at 13.45 with the first stop in Joliet. The train will stop at major stations along the route between Chicago and Texas for your comfort. You can drive it whenever you want to visit Texas for a vacation that extends beyond Chicago.
Fares: Although it can cross up to Texas, the price is still affordable (10 dollars to 20 dollars per person).
Tips: Make sure you know the route so that you are not wrong considering you will be out of town.

7. Divvy

Source: Unsplash @mariuszpierog

General information: This unique term is given to a bicycle rental program in Chicago which is managed by the local government. Because the government provides it, you can use this bike for free, specifically on weekends. You can easily find it at a special station with a total of 580 stations with 5,800 bikes.
Fares: Besides weekends, you need to pay a price that generally starts 15 dollars per day. But if you want to count hours, you will be charged 3.30 dollars for 30 minutes.
Tips: Use the Divvy application to check the existence of a bicycle station and the availability of its bicycle. In the application, there are also guidelines for use and rental systems so you will not be confused.

The number of transportation choices in Chicago will make your mobility easier when visiting this place. In addition to downloading the local transportation application, it would be nice if you also download the Traveloka app. Traveloka can be a good friend for your trip by helping to meet your needs during the trip.

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