City buses accept the same fare cards as the "L." A bus ride costs $2 if you’re paying with a fare card, with an additional 25 cents for up to two transfers within two hours of your first ride. Unlike the "L," buses do accept cash, but you must have exact change—$2.25—and you don’t get any transfers. See a bus route map at www.transitchicago.com. Note: If you have a mobile phone with Internet access, bookmark www.ctabustracker.com; it provides up-to-the-minute bus times, so you can find out exactly when the next one on your route will be coming along.
Useful information:You’ll probably find the Blue and Red Lines of the "L" most useful—the Blue for getting to and from O’Hare Airport and anything west of downtown; the Red for traveling to North Side neighborhoods from downtown. Both run 24/7. CTA passes that offer unlimited "L" and bus rides for 1, 3, 7 or even 30 days are available at www.transitchicago.com. While the "L" is generally safe, in case of emergency you can press a button near the door to communicate with the driver. On buses, an electronic screen near the front will display the name of each upcoming street; some buses also announce each stop aloud. To request a stop, pull one of the cords above the windows until you hear a “ding” sound. Bus etiquette mandates that you make your way as far to the back of the bus as possible after boarding so that you don’t block the aisle. It’s also customary to give up your seat for the elderly, pregnant or disabled. In addition to the "L," there is another, entirely separate train system called Metra that runs mostly to the suburbs and serves mostly commuters. Metra is much faster than the "L," but it’s a little more expensive and it makes much more limited stops.