Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On the bus

I decided to take a trip to Hyde Park today before I continued thru downtown Chicago. If you didn't know Hyde Park is the home of the Democratic nominee for President, Sen. Barack Obama. Also it's a vibrant and diverse neighborhood right on the lakefront with parks on the west (Washington Park) another on the Lakefont (with Promontory Point) and of course one to the south (Jackson Park).

There's the Museum of Science and Industry in Jackson Park. There's also the wonderful campus of the Senator's former employer, the University of Chicago. In addition there is some nice housing stock abound as well. You might find mansions that I'm sure wouldn't look out of place in the suburbs, but it's right in the city. Of course if you were looking for housing in Hyde Park there's always apartments and probably some condominiums as well.

As for transit well there is no direct L access there. You do have Metra if you want a train to take downtown. Of course Hyde Park is easily served by CTA buses. If you're lucky you might catch an express bus to downtown. Or perhaps you can catch a bus to an L line such as either the Green Line or the Red Line.

I was on the bus when I took this pic today. I took the route 6 Jackson Park Express into downtown today. A nice view of the lakefront and it was cool riding thru the nice parts of Hyde Park.

BTW, this is the excuse to provide some advice.

If by any chance you're going to be taking the bus for any reason, I would suggest you get the Chicago Card. The reason being is that you get and extra 2% fare by adding $20 to your card. And when you board a bus especially some of the low-floor buses, all you have to do is turn to your left and scan that card.

While one can still use the transit card you won't have the economic advantage on those cards as you would with the Chicago Card. I've seen one too many black folks boarding a bus using a transit card though even with the transit card when it was the most common fare card in use there were those who insisted to pay their fare in cash. of course this was before it cost $2.00 in cash to ride the bus or train and these days there is no longer a transfer unless you use a transit card or Chicago Card.

I had the misfortune of losing mine. I didn't but mine back in my wallet and it did have the tendency to fall out of my pocket. I'm still in pain from that because I had just put $20 on it. Never fear though I went to CTA headquarters to get another one and thankfully it didn't cost me a dime.

Well thankfully with the new card I have a PIN number to use so that the next time my card gets lost, CTA will replace the card although they will subtract the amount as a replacement fee. You have to provide the PIN number however. I don't know if there's such an assurance for those with the transit card.

I remember one time I used a transit card and I had put a few dollars on it. Unfortunately it got bent and when I attempted to use it on a rail turnstyle, it didn't work. I never did get a reimbursement if there would have been one. Oh and yeah this includes defective or damaged Chicago Cards if you need to replace one.

Sorry for the distraction. There's one more thing.

Notice how crowded this bus was? It was only noon and there wasn't a seat on board the bus to be had! Hyde Parkers will use a bus for sure.

Links
Chicago Card website
Historical CTA fares

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