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Public Transportation in Chicago with kids?

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Our kids are 11 & 13 and we are planning a trip to Chicago in June.

We had been planning on driving into the city, but I am getting a lot of feedback that parking is very expensive and being told we are better off using public transportation.

What is the difference between CTA and the EL? How much of a hassle might this be transferring lines, waiting for trains, etc?

We don't want to break the bank on parking, but we also don't want to spend huge chunks of time standing around waiting to get from one place to the next.

As we need 2 hotel rooms and our budget is no more than $150 per room, staying in the city isn't a feasible option.

Thanks!

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