Green Line


Runs from Harlem Avenue in the west suburbs to Ashland and 63rd on the South Side, with a branch to Cottage Grove via East 63rd Street. Operates via the West Side, Loop Elevated, and the South Side.


Click on a branch to see its profile:

Ashland | East 63rd | South Side Elevated | Loop Elevated | Lake  

Service Notes:

Hours of Operation: 4am-1am, Mon-Fri; 5:15am-1am, Sat; 5:50am-1am, Sun
Length of Route: 20.7 miles
Lake branch: 8.7 miles
Loop Elevated: 1.0 miles
South Side Elevated: 6.5 miles
Ashland branch: 3.0 miles
East 63rd branch: 1.5 miles
Number of Stations: 30 stations, plus 1 abandoned station
Car Types Assigned: 5000-series
(see Car Assignment sheet for latest car assignment)
The Green Line was created in 1993 when the Lake Line was linked with the Englewood-Jackson Park Line via the Loop Elevated. Previously, the Howard Line had been linked with the Englewood-Jackson Park Line via the State Street Subway (and called the North-South Route) and the Dan Ryan had been through-routed with the Lake Street Line via the Loop Elevated (and called the West-South Route).
The Green Line is interesting in that, since the 1993 realignment, it consists of the city's two oldest lines: the Lake Street and South Side lines. The South Side main line represents the oldest section of the "L" in the city, with the original portion between Congress Street and Pershing (39th Street) completed in 1892. The next year, the line was extended to serve the Colombian Exposition of 1893. In 1905, the Englewood branch opened. These lines were built as typical elevated steel trestles, mostly over alleys and private right-of-way, except for the Jackson Park branch, which runs over East 63rd Street. There were also three now-demolished branches to Normal Park, Kenwood, and the Stock Yards.
The Lake Street "L" opened in 1893, not long after the initial section of the South Side Elevated. The line originally went from 52nd Avenue (later called Laramie Avenue) on the city's western city limits to Market & Madison on the edge of the central business district. The line would eventually be extended to Forest Park, then shaved back one station to its present terminal at Harlem Avenue. The line runs on the public right-of-way over Lake Street for the majority of its length.
The Green Line runs through downtown running over the east (Wabash) and north (Lake) sides of the Loop Elevated.
In January 1994, the Green Line was closed for an extensive renovation project lasting more than 2 years. A great deal of controversy raged during the two year rehab, including debates over station closings, retention of nighttime "owl" service and the date of reopening. On May 12, 1996, the rehabilitated Green Line reopened. Upon reopening, the branches were renamed from "Englewood" to "Ashland" and from "Jackson Park" to "East 63rd" to be more specific (and accurate, since the Jackson Park branch hadn't run to its namesake park since 1982) and to correlate with the new train signage, although many longtime riders still use the original names.
The Green Line serves several points of interest, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Center, City Hall/County Building, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Garfield Park Conservatory, Illinois Institute of Technology, Museum Campus, Soldier Field, and the University of Chicago.