DOWNTOWN — The CTA is going old-school for its 70th anniversary party Sunday, rolling out vintage trains and buses that will take commuters around the Loop.
Live sets from CTA buskers, face-painting and an appearance by the Voice of the CTA himself, Lee Crooks, are all part of the 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. celebration Sunday at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St. There will also be free posters.
Old-school buses and trains will run Downtown during the event. The agency now known as the CTA took over the city's buses and trains on Oct. 1, 1947 and today serves an estimated 1.6 million riders on an average weekday.
“One of the things that makes Chicago one of the most famous and appealing cities in the world is the CTA and our iconic ‘L’ elevated train,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. said. “I am proud of CTA’s important role in everyday lives of Chicagoans, and I thank all of our customers for taking transit today and for the next 70 years.”
An old-school CTA bus parked in Daley Plaza. [Provided]
The CTA will roll out its 8499 bus built in 1960, two 4000-series train cars built in 1923 and 2400-series trains built in the '70s. Bus riders can get on free, while the trains will require regular admission.
To be one of the first to ride the 4000-series train, you'll need to pick up a ticket in Daley Plaza starting at 9:30 a.m., then board the train at the CTA's Clark and Lake station at the Thompson Center. After the initial rides, anyone can ride the train until 2 p.m.
No ticket, other than a Ventra card, is needed to ride the 2400-series trains, which start at 11 a.m. and can also be caught at the Thompson Center.
Bus tickets can also be picked up in Daley Plaza. The bus lives from Washington and Dearborn.
All rides end at 2 p.m.
Visit the CTA's website for more information.
Chicago's famous elevated rail debuted in 1892 in advance of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park. The Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad was privately held and ran between Downtown and Jackson Park.