Is There Public Transportation in Chicago, Illinois? (What You Should Know)

Knowing how to get around Chicago, Illinois is important if you plan on living or vacationing in Chicago. I lived in Chicago, Illinois for about twenty years, so I’m a pro on how to get around in the city.

Getting around Chicago is easy with Chicago’s train system called the L train. Other forms of public transportation like taxis, water taxis, the Metra, buses, cars, walking, and biking, are all other great public transportation ideas. Public transportation is necessary to get around Chicago.

There are a lot of different forms of transportation in Chicago, and it can seem confusing. That’s why we’re here to help! Keep reading to hear everything you need to know about public transportation in Chicago!

L Train

One of the best and most popular forms of transportation in Chicago is the ‘L’ train. The ‘L’ stands for Elevated. This train is one of the best ways to get around Chicago because it’s fast, accessible, cheap, and runs through the whole city.

This mode of transportation is so easy to use! All you have to do is go to the station, pay for a ticket, board the train, and wait until they get to your stop! That’s pretty much it; easy, right? If you are planning on living or traveling to Chicago, consider getting around by using the L train!


Taxis in the city of Chicago are almost as easy as the L train. There are millions of taxis throughout the city that could help you get to your destination quickly. Traffic can get bad in Chicago, Illinois, and taxis make it a bit easier.

Taxis can be a bit more expensive than the train, but they work just as great in getting you to your destination. All you have to do is whistle or wave over a taxi driver, get in, and then pay your way once they drive you to your destination.

The only bad thing about taking taxis is that they can be pricey and a bit scary. Taxis drivers in Chicago can go way too fast and sweat way too much.

Taxis will have set fees based on the distance you travel and can be found all around Chicago!

Water Taxi

Do you want a fun, easy way to get around the city? Take a water taxi! Water taxis are pretty much exactly what they sound like. They are cute, little boat taxi’s that travel throughout the city water. This is a perfect way to get around the city if you want to experience the city as well. It’s also super easy to utilize! Just find the nearest water taxi location, pay your fare, and travel around the city in style!

This super awesome way to travel around Chicago is one of my personal favorites! When I lived in Chicago, I loved to travel around the city with my friends by taking a water taxi! It was thrilling and beautiful!

The Metra

If you live in the suburbs of Chicago, and you want to travel to the city easily and quickly, then taking the Metra might be the best option. The metra goes from the suburbs to the city super easily. It’s pretty cheap and super fast. Which makes traveling to the city much more enjoyable.

When I lived in Illinois, I lived in the suburbs of Chicago. I would take the Metra quite a bit whenever my family or friends and I wanted to go into the city. All you have to do is go to the station, buy your tickets, get on the right train, and sit and relax until you are at your stop! If you want easy and quick, then the Metra is for you!

The Metra is one of the most popular methods of public transportation, and this is because of how easy and cheap it is. It has set fees that are the same for everyone and has routes throughout the city and suburbs of Chicago, and they are available to all of the public.

This makes the Metra one of the best and most popular modes of transportation for you and you’re getting around needs! I have taken the Metra many times, and it was always safe and easy for me to take.

So, if you are looking for something easy, safe, and fast, the Metra is definitely for you!


Another great public transportation option is to take the bus that runs through the city of Chicago. The buses in Chicago are super easy to use and super cheap. If you plan on spending a lot of time in Chicago, the bus might be your best bet because of how cheap it is.

The regular bus fare will usually cost about $2.50, and the bus fare for students is only $.75. This makes it super easy and inexpensive to get around the city. You can even get an unlimited bus fare which allowed you to ride the bus for multiple days on the same ticket. This makes it even easier if you plan on spending a lot of time in the city!

Busses in Chicago are definitely considered public transportation because of the set fees and availability to the entire public population!


Another great option for public transportation in the city of Chicago is to bike! Biking in Chicago is one of the best ways to get around. It’s pretty much free or very cheap as long as you have a bike. And it’s a perfect way to get exercise too! If you already own a bike, then it’s free!

If you don’t own a bike, you will either have to go out and buy one or rent one. Chicago has bikes on certain streets that you can rent for a short amount of time for a small amount of money in order to get where you need to go. This is a foolproof way to get around the city!

If you plan on choosing this option, make sure you are very careful when biking on the streets of Chicago. Chicago is known for their crazy drivers, and you want to make sure you stay safe when transporting yourself around town. On top of this, make sure you have a helmet on when you ride a bike through the city. Accidents are quite possible in the city, and without a helmet, it could be very dangerous.

Bike-sharing is something that is a great option if you are planning to be in Chicago for a length of time. It will cost an amount of money but may be worth the time, money, and energy that it will require. Biking may not be a usual method of public transportation but is definitely considered public transportation because of the set fees they require and the fact they are available to the general public.


One last option for transportation around the city is by car. This option may take the longest, and is pretty expensive because of gas, but is quite popular. Whether it’s your own car, an Uber, or Lift, driving is a pretty good way to get around the city. It’s fairly fast, somewhat safe, and works for any type of weather. Driving in Chicago is not very fun, but it is definitely an option to keep in mind.

Is Public Transportation Necessary in Chicago?

Now, after reading all of this information, you may ask yourself if public transportation is even necessary for the city of Chicago. I am here to tell you that public transportation in Chicago is extremely important. This is because Chicago is a very big, sometimes dangerous city. Without public transportation, there would be way more cars on the road, which means there would be way more accidents, traffic, and dangerous driving.

Another factor to consider when thinking about if public transportation is necessary or not is to think about how much money the people of Chicago would be spending if they were to drive everywhere. This would make cars more expensive and gas crazy expensive. You would have to be filling up your car with super expensive gas more than once a week! I don’t know about you, but that does not sound fun to me.

Public transportation in Chicago is super necessary and helps make it easier and cheaper to get around the city. When I was a child, we would go to Chicago all the time. We would usually either drive or take the train. After my family and I drove a few times, we quickly realized that we enjoyed taking the train way more than driving. Why is this, you ask?

Well, it’s because driving would take forever. Our big family would be stuck in the car for hours, even though the city wasn’t that far away. The traffic would cause us to get to the city way later than expected. But the train made it easier, cheaper, and faster.

As someone who lived in Chicago for twenty years, I would highly recommend using public transportation to get around the city. You will be much happier!

Ashley Wadas

A little bit about me: I'm Ashley, I studied English in college which meant writing a lot! I wouldn't say writing is my favorite thing to do, but I do like writing about places I've lived. I enjoy reading and word puzzles. :)

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