Travel Tips

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) operates and maintains an online travel information system for the commuters and visitors of the six-county metropolitan Chicago region. Available at tripplanner.rtachicago.org for both desktop computers and mobile devices, the system is a comprehensive decision support tool for choosing travel options that incorporate convenience, efficiency, and cost.

RTA Trip Planner at a Glance

  • Provides trip directions using transit (CTA, Metra, and Pace), driving, walking, biking, or any combination of these transportation options. The directions include a weather forecast for the travel day, as well as cost savings and air quality benefits of choosing transit.
  • Provides real-time estimates of when a CTA train, CTA bus, Metra train, or Pace bus is arriving at a stop or station. This capability involves the integration with the CTA Train Tracker and Bus Tracker, Metra Rail-Time Tracker, and Pace Bus Tracker systems.
  • Offers personal e-mail and text travel alerts to inform commuters of real-time transit and highway conditions (delays and incidents, construction detours, bus reroutes, and station elevator outages) that may impact their commutes
  • Displays up-to-date schedule information, as stop-to-stop or as full route schedules, of CTA, Metra, and Pace services
  • Presents destination information on attractions and events that are happening in the region
  • The RTA Trip Planner mobile site can be accessed through the web browser of any internet-enabled smart phone, including devices powered by Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.
  • Available on English, Spanish, and Polish languages
  • Optimized for web accessibility by the visibility-impaired and disabled community
  • Accommodates customers’ travel preferences, such as mode choice, walking distance, travel time, least cost, and wheelchair accessibility
  • Receives close to 500,000 visits a month
  • Provides over 3.1 million pages of travel information a month
  • Developed by the RTA with $1.08 million grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration