Getting Around Chicago

One of the best ways to get around Chicago is by train. Chicago's public transportation system is called the "L" because it mostly runs on an elevated track around the city. It can get you wherever you need to go, including O'Hare International Airport. The L has eight lines, which are named after various colors. The Blue Line and the Red Line offer 24 hour service, with other lines starting their service around 4:00 a.m. and ending it around 1:00 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, with Sundays and holidays having a later starting time and an earlier closing time.

It's also possible to get around Chicago by bus. The city runs an extensive network of buses that provide access to parts of Chicago not covered by the L trains. There are over 100 different bus routes, including OWL Buses, which offer late night service, and commuter bus routes, which offer express, nonstop service from various suburbs to downtown Chicago.

Taxis are also another great way to get around Chicago. Fares are reasonable, and you can hail a taxi from the street, from taxi stands at hotels, or by calling a taxi company and asking for them to pick you up at your location. Taxis are more expensive than public transportation, but they can be very helpful and convenient when you want door-to-door service or are carrying a lot of bags or luggage.

For a creative form of transport in Chicago, consider taking a water taxi. Some water taxis are simply for sightseeing and not transportation, but if you're not in a hurry, they're one of the best ways to see some of the city while also getting to your destination. Since they're on the water, you don't have to worry about traffic, either, which can mean that even a leisurely cruise down the Chicago River can be faster than a cab or a bus, depending on the time of day.

Chicago is also a very bike-friendly city. There are numerous on-street bike routes and off-street bike paths, including a popular one that wraps around Lake Michigan. Recently, the city has set up a bike sharing service called B-Cycle. B-Cycle allows you to rent a bicycle for an hour, several hours, a day, or longer, and you don't have to return it to the same station you rented it from originally. It's an incredibly convenient form of transportation.