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Public Train/Bus Transportation

CTA Trains

The CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) operates trains (the "L") and buses throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas. Below are some common route options, or check out the CTA's Trip Planner for other suggestions.

Purple Line: Gets you around Evanston and into Chicago. Transfer to the Red Line at Howard, or weekdays during rush hour take the express all the way downtown. Purple Line runs north from Howard 4:30 am to 1:00 am weekdays, with service extended until 1:48 am Friday and Saturday nights. The last southbound train from Linden leaves at 1:20 am weekdays and 2:08 am Friday and Saturday nights.

Red Line: For service to and from Chicago transfer at Howard to the Red Line. The Red Line runs 24/7, and the longest wait between scheduled trains is only 15 minutes.

U-Pass: The Graduate School (TGS) and CTA provide the CTA University Pass (U-Pass) to all full-time students in TGS. The U-Pass is a discounted fare card that replaces cash/other transit cards for all CTA fares. It is offered as part of the Activity Fee charged to full-time students enrolled in a TGS program.

CTA #201 Bus

Students, faculty, and staff can ride the CTA #201 bus for free by either 1) obtaining a special Ventra card for Northwestern community members, or 2) using your UPASS (students in select schools and programs only). Visit the Transportation and Parking website for instructions on these methods, and specifically how to obtain and use Northwestern Ventra card. It's easy!

The #201 bus route operates between the CTA Howard station and Westfield Old Orchard mall with stops in downtown Evanston, on campus, at Ryan Field, and along Central Street. Service hours and a map are at the same site linked above.

Metra Trains

Metra is the Chicago area's commuter rail service. Metra provides service on 11 train lines to 228 stations in 6 counties in northeastern Illinois. There are three Metra stations in Evanston at Main St., Davis St. and Central St. all of which are on the Union Pacific North Line with service from Chicago to Kenosha. The Metra can take you to the concerts at Ravinia, or into downtown Chicago in only 25 minutes.

Pace Buses

Pace is the Chicago area suburban bus service providing bus coverage to Evanston, Chicago, and the rest of Chicago's six-county metropolitan area.

Going to O'Hare? Take the Route 250 Dempster St. Bus with service from the Davis St. Purple Line station to O'Hare.