It is hard to picture Chicago without its network of public transportation options because they are so ingrained in the city’s identity. Whether you utilize one of the many public buses, take a ride on the “L,” use a commuter train or even benefit from a school bus for your child, odds are that you find yourself using or dealing with public transportation with some regularity.
Put simply, public transportation is a means by which the public at large can move about from place to place in a ride share format. Whether it is by train, plane, or bus, people who do not know one another can take to a form of public transit and can travel as a group with each passenger responsible for his or her own fare. Many forms of public transit travel along fixed, pre-assigned routes which let passengers embark at one designated area and disembark at a separate point but other forms function more freely, without preordained transit lines restricting their movement.
Public Transportation Options in Chicago
Since 1952, the biggest provider of public transit in the Chicago area has been the Chicago Transit Authority, known by most as the CTA. The CTA reports that it provides 83 percent of all public transit trips in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area either directly or with connecting service through Metra and Pace so its position within the public transit landscape cannot be overstated.
The CTA experiences its highest passenger traffic on weekdays when approximately 1.7 million rides are provided to residents, commuters, and travelers around the Chicago area. Many of those rides are taken on the CTA’s trains which run either on elevated tracks or in underground subways depending on the train line and location of the tracks at any particular point. The elevated nature of the trains have given rise to the popular nickname, the “L,” which is used to refer to any of the CTA’s train routes that run in the city and in the immediately surrounding areas. CTA operates eight different train lines over 224.1 miles of track and utilizes 146 train stations each day.
The other major type of transit offered by the CTA is bus transit. As of spring 2014, the CTA operated 1,865 buses on 128 different fixed routes that cover 1,354 miles. Riders who utilize the CTA buses can pick up their bus at one of the CTA’s 11,104 bus stops around Chicago and can hop between buses and routes through the use of the CTA’s transfer fares.
Though the CTA is the biggest provider of public transportation in Chicago, it is not the only entity that offers rides to the public at large. For example, the city’s location on the river causes some of its streets to wind and can slow down those who wish to move about the downtown area. In response, several water taxis are available and are utilized during the spring, summer, and fall months by commuters among several points downtown when weather permits.
Other Transit Options for the Chicago Public
Many people in the Chicago area live in the suburbs and commute into the city. That commute can be made much more easily with the aid of public transportation, and often by train. Metra, the commonly used name for the Metropolitan Rail Corporation, operates 11 different railway lines that provide service to 241 different stations. Over the last 15 years, Metra has been the busiest commuter rail system in the United States outside of the New York City metropolitan area and in 2014, Metra provided 83.4 million passenger rides to those in and around Chicago.
Metra operates each of its lines on a set time schedule and charges its passengers a fare based upon the distance traveled from one station to another. Metra lines run in all directions extending from the City of Chicago and most stations receive service on weekdays as well as weekends.
Metra is not the only commuter train option in Chicago, though, as Amtrak also services the city. Amtrak is partially funded by the government and offers both short and long distance transit for those around Illinois. Commuters can take an Amtrak train into the city or back to a suburb every day or they can board a train in Chicago and travel all the way across the nation. With service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states, Amtrak can provide a convenient means of interstate travel to many.
And for those who plan to travel outside of Chicago, utilizing the services of Megabus may be an attractive option. With discounted fares, Wifi capabilities, and limited stops along designated routes, Megabus is an option for a large percentage of the Illinois population who prefer to travel by bus.
Public Transportation Accidents in Chicago
Chicago is a city with many options when it comes to getting around town, and everyone who comes to the city can find something that works for them as a result. Most of these commuters and travelers will avoid any major issues but for some, a car accident, train crash, or even a bus collision may result and may leave them wondering about their legal options.
If a passenger is injured in a public transportation incident in Chicago, that passenger may possess legal rights that entitle him or her to seek relief through the use of a civil claim. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help victims realize what options are available to them and whether they have a valid claim as the facts surrounding an accident are important in determining what legal rights are available.
If you were hurt in a public transit crash or if someone you loved was injured or killed, contact the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation. We can be reached toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442), locally at (312) 924-7575, or online and we have a licensed lawyer standing by to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we never charge our clients a fee unless we make a recovery on their behalf and we fight for the best possible outcome in every case we handle. If you need answers, call us today and let us get to work for you.
If you have been hurt in a public transportation accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.