Over the next months, the LAC will highlight places to see and things to do in Chicago during the Medical Library Association 2014 conference. When visiting a new city, an important question of is always “How do I get there?”
We’re lucky here in Chicago; there are a many ways to travel. One of the easiest modes for natives and visitors alike is Chicago’s subway, the “EL.” Chicago’s subway is dubbed the “L” because most of system is elevated. When Chicagoans talk about “heading to the loop”, its area included in the area that the elevated railroad makes through downtown.
Chicago has an expansive bus system but the “L” is easier to navigate and most of Chicago’s well-known landmarks are easily accessible by the “L”. Like most other subway systems, you find the stop closest to your destination and hop on the train headed in that direction. All the CTA’s trains are accesscible but not all train stations. For station informaiton and questions, check out the Accessible Services from CTA. A single ride on the “L” is $2.25. Head to the CTA’s fare page for informaiton on disposable one day passes or single rides.
Google Maps is the easiest way to map the route from the hotel to your destination, but you can check out maps, schedules and fares at the Chicago Transit Authority too. There are also a couple of apps available for your smartphone to check on train arrivals.
Bring comfy shoes! Walking is another major mode of transportation in downtown Chicago. As compact city, the fastest route to some destinations is on foot. In later posts, I’ll highlight the landmarks that are in easy walking distance of the hotel. However — have no fear! If you’re really tired, you can always grab a taxi.
The “L” is a great way to a good way to get from point A to point B, but there are other fun options for sightseeing in Chicago.
Chicago has a substantial Divvy Bike System. These blue bike stands are strategically placed all over the city and you can use one for unlimited 30 minute periods for one day for about $7. In general, I would recommend using the bikes on the bike and pedestrian trail along the lake front. Chicago traffic (both automotive and pedestrian) can be heavy and unpredictable and is best confronted by experienced riders with equipment. Divvy bikes are all over the city but there are also small rent-a-bike businesses all along Lake Michighan.
This is a kooky way of getting around Chicago but rumored to be lots of fun. There are a number of companies that provide Segway tours around downtown Chicago. There are a variety of different segway tour companies in Chicago and the prices vary from around $45 to $60.
While there is no shortage of taxis in Chicago, it is worth your while to take a short trip on one of Chicago’s water taxis that go up and down the Chicago river. The Chicago Water Taxi fares are between $3 and $5 depending on day of the week and destination.
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you in Chicago!