Ride Around In Vintage CTA Buses & Train Cars On Sunday To Celebrate The CTA's 70th Anniversary

By Stephen Gossett in News on Sep 29, 2017 4:41PM

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CTA Heritage Bus / Instagram

Not dissimilar to our friends at the Museum of Contemporary Art, who have been celebrating their 50th birthday all year long, the CTA has taken a few opportunities to toast its big 70th anniversary milestone this year. But the one slated for this weekend looks to be biggest yet, with a celebration at Daley Plaza that includes vintage buses parked in the plaza and performances by CTA buskers—plus rides on a vintage bus and trains in the Loop.

The festivities at Daley Plaza take place Sunday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be face-painting and giveaways, plus an appearance by venerable train announcer Lee Crooks, he of "doors closing" fame and other classics, in case you've always wanted to put a face to the pipes.

Chicago Cultural Museum historian Tim Samuelson will also appear to talk about the transit system's history and legacy, and a couple who got married on a CTA train last October will share their experience.

Still, the primary draw definitely looks like the vintage-fleet rides. You can catch a ride on one of two cars from a 4000-series train, from 1923, or inside a 2400-series rail car, built in 1976, both of which will be making trips around the Loop from the Clark/Lake stop, from 10:45 am until 2 p.m. You can see photos of the bus and trains here.

And from 10:50 a.m. until 1 p.m., you can hop onto a CTA Bus 8499 (from1960) for 12-minute round-trip rides, starting at the Dearborn/Washington stop.

Certain rides require grabbing a special ticket from a Community Connection Bus, will be parked at the plaza starting at 9:30 a.m. You can check out the full rules and details for how to ride here.

“One of the things that makes Chicago one of the most famous and appealing cities in the world is the CTA and our iconic ‘L’ elevated train,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr in a release. “In commemorating our 70th year as public servants serving Chicago for 70 years, I am proud of CTA’s important role in everyday lives of Chicagoans and I thank all of our customers for taking transit today and for the next 70 years.”

The CTA also shared some rather snazzy, before-and-after transit-related shots on Friday to get you pumped.