For CTA passengers, it IS the most wonderful time of the year.
Imagine leaving work after just a wretched day. You are tired, and the boss was a grinch. Your coworkers were more interested in office gossip than finishing their parts of the big project that is due. You walk up the stairs of the CTA ‘L’ train, stand waiting on the platform, and as your train pulls up…IT’S THE SANTA TRAIN! Everything about your day just got better.
Well, at least that’s how I feel when I see the Santa Train (holiday train). You can see that in this video.
Since 1992, each year, the Chicago Transit Authority has gift wraps one of their trains (five passenger cars, one flatbed for Santa’s sleigh and reindeer) into a festive vehicle with candy cane poles, twinkling lights, and overhead lights changed from bright fluorescent to red and green.
The holiday train isn’t all for fun, though. It mostly exists for charity! CTA employees collect food and money to buy groceries and create over 300 baskets which are delivered by the holiday train over a few days time.
Even if you don’t live in the city or take the train regularly, it’s highly suggested to try it at least once. There is no extra fee to ride. Just the $2.50 charge per person (with two free transfers). The full schedule is listed below. Some days, there is even the opportunity to get a picture with Santa Claus!
Oh, and in case you get hungry while on the train, do not fret. Santa’s elves are walking around handing out candy canes and doses of holiday cheer.
“Sprint CTA Holiday Train – 2015 Dates & Schedule.” Transit Chicago. CTA, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.