Chicago "L"

Rapid transit system in Chicago, Illinois, operated by the CTA
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The Chicago "L" (short for "elevated railway")[3] is the Chicago rapid transit system. It serves the city of Chicago and some of its surrounding suburbs in the U.S. state of Illinois.

Chicago "L"
20120624 CTA L 5000SERIES PINK311 54CERMAK.JPG
A Pink Line train approaching Randolph/Wabash station
LocaleChicago, Illinois, United States
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines8[1]
Number of stations145[1]
Daily ridership767,730 (average weekday, 2015)[2]
Chief executiveDorval R. Carter, Jr.
Headquarters567 West Lake St.
Chicago, Illinois
WebsiteChicago Transit Authority
Began operationJune 6, 1892[1]
Operator(s)Chicago Transit Authority
System length102.8 mi (165.4 km)[1]
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Minimum radius of curvature90 feet (27,432 mm)
ElectrificationThird rail, 600 V DC
Top speed55 mph (89 km/h)
Route map

Chicago L diagram sb.svg

The "L" is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). It is the fourth-largest rapid transit system in the United States. It is 102.8 miles (165.4 km) long,[1] and the second-busiest rail mass transit system in the United States, after the New York City Subway.[4]

Chicago's "L" has 24-hour service on some portions of its network. It is one of only five rapid transit systems in the United States to do so.[5] The oldest sections of the Chicago "L" started operations in 1892, making it the second-oldest rapid transit system in the Americas, after New York City's elevated lines.

Related pagesEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 [1]
  2. "Annual Ridership Report: Calendar Year 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  3. "Our Services". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved August 22, 2006.
  4. "American Public Transportation Rider Reports Year End 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  5. The four other rapid transit systems in the U.S. that provide 24-hour service are the New York City Subway, Staten Island Railway, PATH, and Philadelphia's PATCO Speedline.