Flannery Correspondence

May 30, 2011

Mass Transit in Chicago

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) passes offer unlimited rides for a certain number of days on buses, elevated train and subway.  Buses to the suburbs require an additional PACE pass (acronym? no).  Trains to the suburbs require an additional Metra pass.

Within the city, CTA pass prices:

1-day for $5.75

3-days for $14

7-days for $23

For a five day trip, Christa did the math in her head way faster than I could:  Five 1-day passes is $28.75; two 3-day passes, $28; one 3-day pass plus two 1-day passes, $25.5.  The 7-day pass beats them all.

Plus, we had two extra days on our pass.  When we arrived at the airport on our fifth day to leave town, we handed our passes off to the first people we saw walk up to the CTA pass vending machine.  Two free days of Chicago transit for some lucky travelers.  We felt pridefully magnanimous.  Then we felt conflicted about how arbitrarily we distributed those free rides — how do we know they will use it for good?

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