Even Santa takes the L!
With the holiday season in full swing, Santa’s very busy spreading Christmas joy to all the good boys, girls, and non-binary kiddos. Even Santa knows the L is the best way to get around the city, so every year he teams up with the CTA for the Holiday Train and Bus service!
The holiday transit service began in 1992 with a single sign hung over the front of an out of service Blue Line train that read “Season’s Greetings from the CTA.” Ever since, the transit service has been a much-anticipated delight for thousands of Chicagoans.
This year’s holiday transit features two L trains, the Allstate CTA Holiday Train followed by the Allstate CTA Elves’ Workshop Train, as well as the Allstate CTA Holiday Bus. The transit vehicles are decorated inside and out with holiday and seasonal images and thousands of lights make the trains and busses glow with Christmas spirit. Inside, handrails are made to look like candy-canes and Santa’s elves assist riders and pass out candy.
On the Holiday Train, Santa rides his sleigh in an open-air car, friendly waving to passersby. If you hop on the Holiday Bus, you’ll be greeted by Santa’s elves and even have the opportunity to take a picture with Santa himself!
These jolly transit services serve two very important functions: to spread joy and the holiday spirit to thousands of Chicagoans and to deliver food to several charities. CTA employees donate their time and money to purchase and assemble food baskets for people in need. This year the CTA will donate approximately 500 food baskets to local nonprofit organizations!
The Holiday Transit schedule can be found on the CTA’s website. Generally, they operate between 1 p.m. to 8 p.m, on weekends and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on select weekdays. The transit service runs from late Nov to late Dec. Regular fare fees apply.