Getting Around

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In Evanston getting around is easy. The city is served by an extensive public transit system as well as streets easily navigable on foot, by bike and car. Buses and trains make getting around town and to and from neighboring communities and two major airports convenient.

CTA Metra blue-04Trains

Evanston is served by two train systems that can help you get to and around the city.

CTA Trains

Evanston is served by the CTA’s purple line “L” train throughout the day. The Purple Line makes the following stops in Evanston: Central, Noyes, Foster, Davis, Dempster, Main, and South Boulevard. For more information, see Hours of operation and route diagram.

Metra

Metra is the commuter rail system that serves the greater Chicago area. There are several stops in Evanston on the Union Pacific North Line (UP-N): Main, Davis, Central. You can track trains with the Metra Rail-Time Tracker.

 Viaduct Maintenance

Viaducts are owned by rail companies. In Evanston, those are Union Pacific and the Chicago Transit Authority. The maintenance of the structure of the viaduct is responsibility of rail companies, whereas the lighting, signage, and netting are responsibility of the roadway manager (City of Evanston or Illinois Department of Transportation). For any issue about viaduct or grade crossing maintenance, please contact the following agencies:

Check Viaduct Clearance and the Truck Route Map

 

        Bus blue-03Buses

Evanston has several convenient bus options to help get you around the city.

CTA Buses

Chicago Transit Authority operates several bus routes in Evanston. CTA buses can help get you to the busy areas of Evanston. Routes with stops in Evanston include:  

 

You can track buses with the CTA Bus Tracker.

 

Pace Buses

Pace is the suburban bus system that serves Chicago’s surrounding cities including Evanston. Pace also operates a number of other useful transportation services. Pace routes in Evanston include:

    1. Route 215 - Crawford/Howard
      • Points of interest: Westfield Old Orchard, Rush North Shore Medical Center and CTA Howard Street station. Acts as a commuter service route to the Rapid Transit Station for commuters going to and from the City of Chicago.
        Route 215 Schedule | Route 215 Map

       

    2. Route 250 - Dempster Street
    3. Route 208 - Green Bay Road
      • Provides daily service from Evanston to Schaumburg. Service operates via Golf Road from Davis Street CTA Purple Line/Metra Station to the Pace Northwest Transportation Center. Service on Sundays has a shorter span of service. Serves the following major destinations: Evanston Township High School, Westfield Shopping town Old Orchard, Kraft, Four Flags, Golf Mill, Oakton Community College, Metra UP Northwest Line stations (Golf, Cumberland and Des Plaines), Pace Headquarters, Continental Towers, Meadows Corporate Center, Centennial Center, 3 COM, Hyatt, Woodfield Mall and Streets of Woodfield.
        Route 208 Schedule | Route 208 Map

    4. Route 422  - Linden CTA/Glenview/Northbrook Court
      • One service from Howard CTA station at 2:06 am. Operates via Hermitage, Howard, Chicago, Greenwood, Sherman/Orrington, Clark and Benson, arriving at Davis station at 2:12 am, Church/McCormick at 2:17 am and Glenview/Waukegan at 2:32 am.
        Route 422 Schedule | Route 422 Map

You can track buses with the Pace Bus Tracker.

 

       Car-blueCars and Taxi Cabs

 

There are a variety of maps that will help you navigate your car around Evanston. 

Parking

The following taxicab companies as well as rides are licensed by the City of Evanston. These companies offer fixed rates to and from the airports, and accept senior taxicab coupons.

Senior Taxi Cab Coupon Program: The City of Evanston offers a special low-cost taxicab service to Evanston seniors over the age of 65, and residents with ambulatory disabilities who are registered for the Evanston Benefit Card.

TransAssist 4 Evanston Pilot Program: Eligible Evanston residents who are older or have ambulatory disabilities have additional door-to-door and door-to-destination transportation services thanks to a pilot expansion of the City’s Taxicab Voucher Program. For more information about the TransAssist 4 Evanston Pilot Program,  please call/text 847-448-4311.

Contact Evanston 311 for Service Requests

  • Taxi Complaints
  • Snow removal
  • Broken Parking meters
  • Street signs

 

 

        Bicyclists blue-01Bike Evanston

Evanston boasts a series of bike routes and lanes that make cycling an enjoyable way to get around the city. Evanston is one of the first suburb communities to implement protected bike lanes, making bicycling safe and easy.

Bike Parking 

Many transit stops and shopping areas have bike racks for convenient bike parking. The city also provides safe and covered bike parking at two parking garages: 1800 Maple Self Park and Sherman Plaza Self Park. Never leave your bike unlocked, even if you’re leaving it for a short time. Be sure to lock your bike to something that’s permanently fixed to the ground.When locking your bike, it is recommended to use a high-quality U-Lock or chain. Using more than one type of lock will provide increased security.

Bicycle Registration: The Evanston Police Department has developed a free online bicycle registration form in order to reduce bicycle theft, make registration of bicycles easier for Evanston residents and to help locate owners of recovered bicycles. To register your bike, please fill out the form found here.

Never park a bike to a tree or parking meter. Small trees are usually not secure, since thieves could lift the bike and take it off easily. Trees can also be damaged because of the pressure of locks on its trunks. Parking meters and traffic signs can be also pull it out of the ground, or bikes could be slided over the top. Besides, parking your bike at a traffic sign or parking meter may be inconvenient for other users of the sidewalk.

Ride on the streets and use the protected bike lanes. Biking on sidewalks in the Downtown Evanston Business District is prohibited. This area is bounded by Ridge Ave. on the west, Lake St. on the south, Hinman Ave. on the east and Emerson/Clark St. on the north.

Bike Sharing Program

Bike Share Program - The Divvy Bike Share Program rolled into the City of Evanston in June 2016 with 10 stations and 100 bikes. In August 2017, an additional station was added. To learn more about this program, where stations are located and how to become a member please visit the Divvy Evanston website.

Bike shops

Evanston is home to several awesome bike shops. Whatever you need a tune-up, accessories, new bike, or a clinic these shops can get you saddled up to ride.

Bikes and transit

While many commuters turn to public transportation as an affordable alternative to driving a car, the bus and/or train stop may be a considerable distance from your final destination. With that in mind, public transit allows bikes on buses and trains, and almost all stops in Evanston have bike parking nearby.

  • Chicago Transit Authority: The CTA is the operator of mass transit within Chicago and some of its surrounding suburbs. All CTA buses are equipped to hold two bikes on the front of the vehicle during travel. If you are taking a CTA train, you are allowed to bring your bike with you in the train car. The only time bikes are not permitted on the train is during weekday rush hour periods from 7am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm. For more information about the CTA’s bike services, please call 888-968-7282 or visit transitchicago.com.
  • Metra Rail: Metra, the northeast Illinois commuter rail system, allows commuters to bring their bikes on the trains. However, on weekdays, bikes are not permitted on trains heading toward Chicago before 9:30am, in addition to trains leaving from Chicago from 3pm to 7pm. For a complete list of Metra’s bike rules, please call (312) 322-6777 or visit metrarail.com.
  • Pace Suburban Bus: Pace is the local public transportation agency for the Chicago area’s suburbs. All Pace buses are equipped to hold two bikes on the vehicle during travel. For more information about Pace’s bike service, please call (847) 364-PACE (7223) or visit pacebus.com.

Test your bike safety knowledge!

Discover relevant laws and best safety strategies for sharing the road successfully. Created by Ride Illinois, a nonprofit organization working statewide for better bicycling conditions.

Annual Events

For more information about Bike Plans, Policies, and Initiatives, please visit the Evanston’s Transportation and Mobility webpage.

 

        Pedestrians blue-02 Walk Evanston

Walking around Evanston is safe and convenient. You can check walkability scores for specific addresses on walkscore.com.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians (from U.S. Department of Transportation):

  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.
  • If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
  •  Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and judgment too.
  • At crosswalks, look for cars in all directions – including those turning left or right.

50/50 Sidewalk Improvement Program - Streets are maintained by the City, but the repair and replacement of damaged sidewalk slabs are the responsibility of the homeowner or business whose property is adjacent to the sidewalk. To help with that responsibility, the City of Evanston offers property owners the opportunity to improve the appearance and safety of their homes and neighborhoods with the 50/50 Sidewalk Replacement Program. Please find more information about 50/50 Sidewalk Improvement Program here.

For more information about Pedestrian Plans, Policies, and Initiatives, please visit the Evanston’s Transportation and Sustainability webpage.

Contact Evanston 311 for Service Requests:

  • Sidewalk repair
  • Crosswalk markings
  • Push buttons on Pedestrian Signals