Riding CTA Buses and Trains

Complete CTA Sign 7268A


Over 127 bus routes lace the City of Chicago, CTA buses stop at posted signs, similar to the one pictured. These signs show the numbers, names and descriptions of routes which stop there, and sometimes the direction of travel.

The destination sign above the bus windshield shows the route number, route name, and destination. If it's the bus you want, remain on the curb and raise your arm to indicate to the operator that you intend to board.

Pay your exact fare into the fare box, purchase a reloadable VentraTM  Card or use a personal contactless bankcard.  Simply tap your card on the reader and board the bus. 

CTA Bus Schedules  CTA Bus Tracker


Today's 'L' system has eight rapid transit routes and consists of 145 stations.  At station entrances, signs (usually overhead) list the train routes serving that station. Purchase a VentraTM Card from the vending machine or use your contactless bank card at the turnstile to pay your fare. When a train arrives, look at the destination shown on the front and side signs, and decide whether to board. Please let exiting passengers leave the train before you board.

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Aboard trains, maps are displayed above doorways. Stops and connections are announced at each stop.  For more information about CTA visit their website at transitchicago.com.

Unattended Stations: Use your VentraTM Card or contactless bank cards at auxiliary entrances to stations equipped with turnstiles or high barrier gates. On the platform overhead signs show train destinations, matching the signs on the end and side of train cars.

CTA Train Schedules  CTA Train Tracker