Chicago has an excellent public transportation system, despite constant talk of fare hikes and service cuts. Within the city there is the elevated “el” train and an extensive bus system. For traveling to the suburbs, there is the cushy Metra train. Chicago’s public transportation system makes living car-free easy. Although we almost always ride our bikes, having other options is helpful.
During my first year in Chicago, I took the El train everyday. We bought a condo close to an El stop. I was happy to be free from driving: I could read during my commute or stare out the window aimlessly while listening to music. Most of the routes are above-ground and provide a great view of the city and its neighborhoods. Eventually the routine grew tiresome and I decided to look into bicycling – the rest is history. But sometimes I still take the El (and so does Oma).