Does Chicago Have a Subway?

Chicago subway platform

Yes, Chicago does have a subway, but not all of the trains in the Chicago public transit system go underground! The Chicago “L” train consists of a network of above-ground, street-level, and underground trains that connect the north, south, and west sides of the city, helping residents and tourists alike travel between all the city’s major attractions, airports, and more.


Chicago L Train

Chicago’s subway system is known as the “L” train, which stands for “elevated” train. Not every train line is elevated, but especially in the Loop, seeing trains rattle by high above the ground is a constant occurrence. There are eight Chicago L train lines, some of which are elevated, street-level, underground, or a combination! 

  • Red line: runs north-south on a 26-mile route. This is the most frequently used Chicago L train. 
  • Blue line: runs east-west, connecting Chicago O’Hare to the Loop and back up to Jefferson Park. 
  • Brown line: runs north-south, making a circle around the Loop. 
  • Green line: runs north-south and east-west, circling around the Loop and connecting to the south side of the city. 
  • Orange line: runs north-south, connecting to Chicago Midway Airport. 
  • Purple line: runs north-south, extending to Evanston. 
  • Pink line: runs north-south and east-west, circling around the Loop. 
  • Yellow line: this line extends to Skokie and is the only Chicago L train that does not cross through the Loop. 

Chicago Public Transit System

The Chicago public transit system is known as the Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA. The CTA is made up of a series of trains and Chicago bus lines that move across the city’s grid system. In addition to the trains and buses, there other modes of transportation interweaving throughout the city, including: 

  • Taxis / Ridesharing: for people wanting more direct routes, taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts are readily available throughout the city
  • Water Taxis: traveling by water is also an option on the Chicago River
  • Biking: Chicago has an excellent bike route system, complete with an easy access bike share program
  • Metra lines: these trains extend to the far-reaching Chicagoland suburbs

Take the Chicago L Train to Visit Skydeck! 

Located in the heart of the Loop, Skydeck is just steps away from several Chicago L train stops! Located in the tallest skyscraper in Chicago, you can’t miss our location, and you won’t want to miss our breathtaking view from the top of the ledge! Beat the crowds when you get tickets online for your next trip!

Important Notice Regarding COVID-19

Willis Tower and Skydeck Chicago have implemented measures consistent with CDC and local and federal guidance to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on the premises, including enhanced cleaning protocols. Even with these procedures in place, PLEASE BE ADVISED that building occupants, building and Skydeck visitors, or others currently or previously present upon this property and/or the Skydeck MAY HAVE CONTRACTED OR BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, and may expose you. By accessing and using building common areas, the Skydeck, and their associated amenities, you and your party voluntarily assume all risks of your use—INCLUDING THE RISK OF EXPOSURE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE—and you waive all claims, including claims for negligence, against Willis Tower, Skydeck Chicago, and their respective owners, managers, affiliates, agents and representatives, arising out of such use. The above parties hereby disclaim all liability for any injuries arising out of your use of this property and the Skydeck, including exposure to infectious disease.

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