Traveling Around Chicago via Public Transit

Chicago Traffic

While Chicago is an easy city to navigate when driving, the area has a great public transit system that is affordable and efficient. A few of the bus routes and metro lines run 24 hours a day, making it easy to travel at any time of day.  If you are keeping your car at home, here are the ways to travel around Chicago without a vehicle.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) runs all the CTA trains and buses in the downtown core. Because both the buses and trains are run by the same company, you can transfer between both methods of transportation easily and both accept the same fare payment systems which include Ventra Cards, Chicago Cards, and Transit Cards. You can pick these Ventra cards and Transit cards up at train stations and many local retailers. Chicago Cards have to be purchased online.

CTA Trains
Chicago’s train system (made famous in the movie The Fugitive) is locally known as the L. While most cities’ train systems run underground, much of the lines in Chicago are elevated. Using the L is pretty straight forward, each line is designated a color and they list the name of the last stop so you can easily determine the direction the train is headed in. There are 8 lines all together Green, Yellow, Red, Brown, Pink, Purple, Blue and Orange. The Red and Blue lines are open 24/7, convenient when you’re spending a night on the town.  The Orange line will take you to the Chicago Midway Airport and the Blue line will get you to O’Hare Airport.

A full fare ticket costs $2.25 and you pay by swiping your card or ticket at the turnstile before you reach the boarding platform.

CTA Buses
The bus system in Chicago is extensive. There are dozens of bus routes and hundreds of bus stops located throughout the city. Bus stops are denoted by blue and white CTA signs, which show the bus routes that stop at that location. Bus routes are numbered, and buses generally come along every 10-20 minutes. There are a few routes that run 24 hours a day – these are called OWL routes.

Fares for bus transit are $2 per ride. When traveling by bus, you pay onboard. There are a number of payment options, and all methods accepted by the train are accepted on the bus. Unlike the train, the bus accepts cash payment, though please be aware, when you pay by cash, you pay an extra .25 cents and you cannot transfer buses.

The Metra is a line of commuter trains that start from the heart of downtown Chicago and extends out into the suburbs and some of the lines even extended into the states of Wisconsin and Indiana. There are eleven lines that depart from 4 stations in Chicago. Fares depended on how many zones you travel. One way prices range from $2.75 for Zone A and go up to $9.25 for Zone M. If you plan on taking the Metra regularly, you can purchase 10-ticket passes or unlimited monthly passes. Train tickets can be purchased at the station or can be bought online.

Chicago Water Taxi
If you’re heading to destinations along the waterfront, you can take in scenic views of the Chicago skyline as you sail along the Chicago River on a Water Taxi. The Water Taxi will take you to North Avenue and Goose Island, Madison Street, LaSalle/Clark, Michigan Avenue and on weekends it also goes to Chinatown.  The price of a ticket ranges from $3-$7 depending on when and where you’re going. If you plan on using the water taxi more than once in a single day, it may be advantages to purchase an All Day Pass. There is no need to pre-purchase a ticket, you can buy them when you board the taxi.

Feel at Home in Jeffersontown Kentucky

InTown Suites Jefferson, KY

Planning on staying in our newly renovated InTown Suites property in the eastern region of Louisville, Kentucky? We’ve put together a short, yet informative guide of what’s available nearby to help you settle more comfortably into your home away from home.

Jeffersontown is a suburb than is very easy to navigate via vehicle and is also navigable via public transit.  The Greyhound Bus terminal is only 10 miles away. From downtown Louisville, Jeffersontown can easily be reached via the I-64, the I-65 and the Henry Watterson Expressway. Our location is conveniently close to the S. Hurtsbourne Parkway and is located a local bus route.

If you need to pick up some creature comforts during your stay at InTown, just across the street you will find a Meijer hypermarket (a hypermarket is a store that sells department store wares as well as groceries). We recommend stocking up your room’s full size refrigerator with fresh grab-n-go foods like fruit, cut up vegetables, milk, yogurt single serves, and eggs for easy and nutritious snacking. Meijer is also great for toiletries like toothpaste and shampoo. Aldi, just a mile away is another great option for affordable grocery shopping, and if neither store carries what you’re looking for, the local Wal-Mart is only 2 miles away.  Looking for more retail therapy? Head on over to the Jefferson Mall, where you’ll find all of your favorite stores.

Even though all InTown Suites rooms come with complete kitchens, sometimes, you just don’t feel like cooking, and want to go out to eat instead. Luckily, there are lots of casual restaurants nearby. Culver’s provides delicious burgers and features a daily rotation of custard flavors. At Burger King you can grab one of their famous Whopper sandwiches and try their new lower fat and lower calorie ‘Satisfries’. If you’re feeling like Chinese, head on over to the Double Dragon, where lunch specials like Sweet and Sour Chicken are available for under $5. All of these restaurants are within walking distance of our InTown Suites property, but if you get in your car and drive a few minutes, you’ll find even more tasty options.  

Looking for a few ideas to keep you busy during your nights and weekends in East Louisville? There’s plenty to do in Jeffersontown! The local residents love to go out for a night of bowling at the nearby Fern Bowling Lanes and King Pin Lanes. If you’d prefer a less active evening out, catch a flick at the Showcase Cinemas. At the Putt-Putt Fun Center you’ll find mini golf and lots of other fun activities, it makes for a great date spot, or a place to take your kids on the weekend.  College football is big in Kentucky, and on many Friday nights you can catch a University of Louisville game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The stadium seats 55,000 people and there have been many sell-out games!

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