Great Transportation Abounds in Evanston
One reason that Evanston is such a great city is because of the wonderful and plentiful transportation that is available to and around the city.
There are five accredited and licensed (by the City of Evanston) Taxi Companies from which to Choose. The good thing is that rates are fixed to and from the airports. They all accept senior taxicab coupons:
Northshore Cab (847)864-7500
303 Taxi (847)256-0303
American Cab (847)673-1000
Better Cab (847)328-2515
Best Taxi (847)864-2500
Evanston has both CTA buses and PACE buses.
CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) provides low-cost transportation via bus & elevated train in Chicago & Evanston and to & from major airports.
Pace is strictly a suburban bus service that operates between Evanston & the surrounding areas.
The city of Evanston is served by the Metra Train System (Which I take) and the CTA's (Chicago Transit Authority) "L" (short for elevated train).
On the Metra, there is a stop at Central Street, Davis Street and Howard Street. On Davis Street, there is both an "L" Station and a Metra Train station.
If you are going to Northwestern University, the Central Street stop is best; for lots of restaurants and shops downtown, the Davis Street stop is best.
For people who are not familiar with the Chicago area:
The Metra serves Cook, Lake, Will, DuPage, Kane, and McHenry Counties in Illinois. It also runs to downtown Chicago, other Midwestern states, and Southern Illinois.
The "L" serves all sides of the City of Chicago, some of the surrounding suburbs,
& both airports. The "L" uses a color-code system. Evanston is on the purple line.
Depending on where you are coming from, you will use either:
I-190, I294 (Tri-State Tollway), I55, I88, I80.
If you have a good map of the Chicago area, reaching Evanston is not difficult!
So, you can see that transportation is abundant in the city of Evanston!
- Historical Travel
Taking the EL to Evanston
Both the Purple Line and the Red Line EL go from downtown to Evanston. The Purple Line runs express to and from downtown Chicago during rush hour on weekdays. At all other times, Evanston riders must transfer at Howard Street to the Red Line, which runs between Howard and downtown Chicago. There is usually a short wait at the Howard Street stop and I always remember the strong smell of tar at this stop.
Evanston is also served by commuter trains coming from the northern suburbs and Chicago. Locals know this line as the Northwestern line but Metra has renamed it the Union Pacific District North Line presumably because it now leaves from the Ogilvie Transportation Center instead of Northwestern Station.
This is a more expensive option (currently $2.90 from downtown) and since commuter trains leave less frequently than the el, it is also less convenient although you don't have to transfer on the commuter train but do have to on the el. But it works well for folks living out in the northern suburbs.
By El (subway/CTA)
Evanston is on the Chicago border to the north of the city so it is still served by Chicago public transportation and is quite easy to get to from downtown Chicago.
If you are traveling by El, you need to take the red line to Howard, transfer to the Purple line. Getting off at the Davis Street station drops you right in downtown Evanston.
Leave the car at home
Many locals bike. Sights are also easy to reach via the El & Northwestern trains. Stops to consider:
Main St.: for the Main Street shopping district (Old Town) and a post office to mail cards. Walk east 6 blocks to Lake Michigan.
Davis St.: for downtown, Main Post Office, an array of cafe's, restaurants, cinema and Northwestern University. The Victorian lakefront.
Central St: neighborhood shopping, antiques, the best bakery in town, NWU's Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena. Six blocks east to public golf course. One mile to the Lighthouse Beach and Park.
Wheels go round and around and
Evanston hopes biking will be the transport of the future. Bike paths are clearly marked out in maps available at recreation centers in town and at City Hall. (Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.) To learn more Google on: Evanston Bicycle Plan.
For sales, accessories or repairs, a trio of shops offer expertise:
Evanston Schwinn Cyclery at 2746 Central in the NW part of town. 847-864-6880.
The Pony Shop at 743 Chicago Ave. (Old Town area, 2 blocks south of Main St.) 847-864-5775
Turin Bicycle Shop at 1027 Davis ( just west of downtown) 847-864-7660.
CTA and Metra Close By
Both the CTA 'El' train and Metra trains have several stops in Evanston.
Metra tickets can be bought at the stations. These trains go all the way to Kenosha, Wisconsin as well as downtown Chicago. The farther you go, the more you pay.
The CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) sells passcards in vending machines at all the 'El' (Elevated Train) stops. You just swipe these at the station to gain entrance to the trains. The fare is a set fare, no matter how far you go. You can also transfer to a bus or other train twice for a smaller, additional charge (I think this is automatically calculated when you swipe your card on the bus.) These cards can be recharged when they run out.
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