Attention public transportation nerds! October 1 marks the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the Chicago Transit Authority, which combined the Chicago Rapid Transit Company (which operated the El) and the Chicago Surface Lines streetcar system under a single governmental agency. To celebrate the auspicious occasion, the CTA is holding a Customer Appreciation Day that will allow riders to take a trip around the Loop on a pair of vintage railcars.
Beginning at 11am on Tuesday, October 1, two restored 6000-series railcars from the CTA's Heritage fleet will make a series of trips around the Loop, marking the first time since 1992 that these cars have hosted the general public. Tickets for a series of rides originating from the Washington/Wabash Station between 11am and 12:30pm have already sold out, but the vintage trains will take passengers in the Loop on a first-come, first-served basis from 12:30 to 2pm (keep an eye on the CTA Twitter account, as these hours may be extended).
While a trip on the vintage railcars offers a chance to experience how Chicagoans got around the Loop in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, you'll still need to tap your Ventra card to get through the turnstiles—CTA tokens are no longer accepted.