Chicago's North Shore is only 30 minutes from O'Hare International Airport and easily accessible from downtown Chicago, Midway Airport, Chicago Executive Airport as well as by Amtrak, and the many rail and bus service providers in the Chicago Metropolitan area. View the Regional Map under Downloadable Maps in this section for an overview of area with major highway routes and maps of the individual communities on the North Shore.
For route information utilizing public transportation, visit www.rtachicago.com and enter your starting and destination location for all your public transportation options using all of the systems listed below.
Chicago Transit Authority
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) oversees the city's rapid transit "L" elevated trains and bus service. Chicago's North Shore is served by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and rapid transit "L" trains. The Purple line services Evanston and the Yellow line services Skokie. CTA riders purchase a Ventra Card or Ticket which allows any amount of rides to be loaded - single ride, 1, 3, 5, 7 or 30 day passes. More information regarding the Ventra Card can be found at www.ventrachicago.com.
The Purple Line has direct access to downtown Chicago in a little over a half hour via the express rush hour trains (5:30-9:30 am & 2:45-6:30 pm) weekdays. All other times during the day and on weekends and holidays, the Purple Line runs to Howard Street where it meets the Red Line with continuing service to Wrigley Field, Lincoln Park, downtown Chicago including the Magnificent Mile, The Loop, Millennium Park and Grant Park), Chinatown and U.S. Cellular Field. During non-rush hour times the ride is approximately 40 minutes.
The Yellow Line services Skokie and operates weekdays 5 am-10 pm. The Yellow Line can be accessed from downtown Chicago by taking the Red Line until its end at Howard Street and transferring to the Yellow Line. The ride on the Yellow Line is only 8 minutes in length and has two stops: Oakton Street in Downtown Skokie and the last stop at Dempster Street. Chicago is accessible in a little over 40 minutes. Pace buses are available at the Howard (where Purple, Red and Yellow lines meet) and Skokie stations to hundreds of specific destinations on the North Shore.
Pace Suburban Bus Service
Pace Suburban Bus Services provides bus transportation from all suburban city and suburban train stations, city and village centers as well as main attractions including O'Hare International Airport. Their website provides bus schedules and routes from your starting point to your chosen destination.
Suburban Commuter Rail Service
Metra is the premier suburban commuter rail system serving northeast Illinois. With 241 stations in the six-county area of northeast Illinois, Metra makes traveling to and from downtown Chicago and its surrounding areas easy and convenient. The following North Shore communities are serviced by Metra:
Evanston & Winnetka
Evanston and Winnetka are serviced by Metra's Union Pacific North Line which leaves/arrives at downtown Chicago's Ogilvie Transportation Center (Madison and Canal Streets. in the Loop) and leaves/arrives in the heart of both downtown Evanston and three stations in Winnetka. Trains run daily and the ride is a half hour. During the week, service runs at least every half hour; more frequent during rush hours. During the weekend, service is available at least hourly.
Glenview and Northbrook
Glenview and Northbrook are served by the Milwaukee District North Line which leaves/arrives at downtown Chicago's Union Station (Canal St. between Adams and Jackson Blvd in the Loop). Trains run daily with service every half hour weekday during rush hours, hourly during non-rush hours weekdays and service every two hours during the weekend. The ride is 45 minutes. There are two stops in each community.
Prospect Heights and Wheeling
Glenview and Northbrook are served by the North Central Service which leaves/arrives at downtown Chicago's Union Station (Canal St. between Adams and Jackson Blvd in the Loop). Trains run daily with service every half hour weekday during rush hours, hourly during non-rush hours weekdays and service every two hours during the weekend. The ride is 45 minutes.
Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail services to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 222,000 mile route system. Chicago's North Shore is serviced by Amtrak at the Glenview station by The Hiawatha service between Chicago and Milwaukee. Seven trains run daily between these two city centers stopping in Glenview. The station is a close ride to many North Shore hotels and attractions.