Here’s some thoughts on the Chicago Transit Authority from the perspective of a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority user.

  • It’s great album. The horns and Terry Kath, oh wait…
  • The 7-day Ventra card is the way to go. $25 + $5 for the actual card if you are sticking round more than say, three days. It doesn’t take long to get your money’s worth and the option of jumping on even for a few stops makes it an obvious choice.
  • A mass transit line to the international airport? Maybe WMATA should do that (WTOP)…
  • The L is a legacy system like New York. No frills on the trains or the stations. I think it probably averages fewer MPH than WMATA, but it doesn’t seem like it.
Wooden floors in the Loop stations? Sure.
  • I appreciate WMATA’s accessibility a lot more after the CTA. While the O’Hare station has escalators and elevators, many Loop stations do not. It’s not superfun with a 5 days of clothes in one’s luggage.
  • The gap between the platform and train is also vertical as well as horizontal. Again, accessibility.
  • Chicago headways are better than DC and ridership seemed like it was pre-pandemic.
  • Significant portions of the Blue and Red Lines are in subway in the downtown area.
  • Connections to the Loop are adequately signed.
  • The elevated structures don’t seem to be a hindrance to building anywhere in Chicago. The only DC comparisons I can think of are the Red Line through NoMa and the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown.
  • The elevated trains are not as loud as I had expected, even in Loop where tall buildings surround everything. Perhaps its because they move so slow.
  • I used the Blue, Red, Green and Brown lines during my visit. I think I entered/exited from the following stops O’Hare, Washington (Blue), Merchandise Mart, Lake (Red), Clark/Division, Grand, Chicago (red), Addison (Red), Belmont (red), Sheffield (Red), Cermak (Green and Blue) and 35th-Sox. I’m not sure I’ve exited/entered from that many WMATA stations this year yet.
    • On my way out of Chicago, I took the Blue Line to O’hare and when I got back to National, I took, the Blue Line…

    The other Chicago Transit Authority

    How do you go from this to “You’re the Inspiration” ?!

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