by Nathaniel Cook – Getting around Chicago without your own car has always been possible but today there are more options than ever. The advent of rideshare platforms like Lyft, Uber, and Via have given everyone access to an on-demand ride, while cabs still offer the convenience of hailing and knowledgeable drivers.
Chicago’s Divvy bike stations blanket the neighborhoods and provide a fun and efficient way to bridge smaller distances.
And of course, the biggest system that connects our city is the CTA. But with 145 trains stations and 130 unique bus routes, all those CTA options can be a lot for a rider to keep track of. Luckily, there are also an abundance of computer and smartphone-based applications to help riders navigate the system. The CTA maintains an extensive list of these apps on its App Center page (www.transitchicago.com/apps).
A few good ones to consider: All Aboard, Transit, and Transportation Tracker (touch-tone phone call based system). All Aboard offers a simple and focused bus tracking experience. Finding your bus is quick and easy, and the relevant information is displayed clearly.
Transit is the ‘Swiss army knife’ of transit apps. It tracks buses and trains as well as allowing you to request an uberPOOL ride. The app even displays Divvy stations nearby and lets you check out a bike directly.
Finally, Transportation Tracker is an entirely call-based automated system that allows you to search for train or bus stops and hear upcoming arrival times. The functionality is better than you might expect and it’s a great option for people who don’t have smartphones or feel more comfortable with a call- based interface. Go ‘old school’ and dial (773)904-4599 to give it a try!