When people think of party venues, bars, banquet halls, and even living rooms come to mind. Mr. Party Bus Limos seeks to change that. The entertainment company rolls out a fleet of party buses equipped with comfy seats, mood lighting, flat-screen TVs, and sound systems that get the celebration started by blasting the latest dance hits or Senate committee hearings. Revelers can celebrate an upcoming wedding or ring in the new year as they ride around town in style.
The Chicago branch of Gray Line's global sightseeing operation organizes a wide variety of tours and excursions throughout the Windy City, from architectural tours that send passengers coasting on the river and lake for sun-drenched educational cruises to shopping odysseys at Chicago Premium Outlets, where travelers can zip through more than 100 stores and restaurants after being shuttled to the retail utopia. Blues outings treat music lovers to raw licks, soul food, and real tears at celebrated concert venues such as Buddy Guy's Legends and Rosa's Lounge.
Gray Line's cherry-red trolleys transport visitors and residents alike to famous Chicago sites. Just north of the river, the vehicles idle before the Wrigley Building's sparkling white terra cotta façade, which in the 1920s stood as the first major skyscraper outside of The Loop. From there, the trolley may motor north to the John Hancock Center, where elevators to its observatory sweep guests 96 floors in 39 seconds. The trolley could also steer south to the Willis Tower, which lost its maiden name of Sears after being charmed by a passing cumulus cloud.
Chicago Limo Net ushers its office-, nightlife-, and airport-bound clientele about the Chicago area in a fleet of luxurious, custom buses and limousines. Twenty-four-passenger party buses bedecked in low-level lighting, leather couches, dancing poles, and mirror-laden roofs bestow a nightclub-like feel minus the acute stares of gargantuan doormen. Smaller 6- and 10-passenger limousines present many of the same creature comforts in a more aerodynamic package for airport or around-town trips. Each party conveyance is piloted by a professional chauffeur with extensive knowledge of downtown Chicago, who will gladly take the fastest or most scenic route and can offer unique insights into the city, such as how to differentiate between the Willis Tower and the pier's ferris wheel.
Park Ride & Fly USA's car caretakers protect vacationing cars within 24-hour, well-lit parking lots near airports in more than 30 states. After dropping off their automobiles, customers can transport themselves and their luggage to the airport aboard one of the company’s complimentary shuttles or human-size hamster balls. While away, patrons rest easy knowing that their steel steeds are safe within fenced lots that are monitored by 24-hour surveillance. At many locations, shuttles also swing by the terminal to pick up returning travelers and reunite them with their respective vehicles, which are first freed of cloud-based artillery, including snow or recently rained molasses.
Stretch Limousine, Inc.'s professional chauffeurs crisscross Chicagoland in a luxurious fleet of sedans, limousines, and party buses. Ranging from the perennial Lincoln Town Car and stretch limo to expansive party buses and coach buses, the fleet has suitable transportation for any occasion. Due to the wide range of vehicles, the services attract wedding parties, bachelor parties, and sporting event transport, so Stretch Limousine has constructed packages that include fully stocked bars, VIP passes to clubs, and limousines outfitted with cans for weddings.
Growling engines, beeping horns, and clattering train wheels are indelible sounds of Chicago's streets. And every day, more than one million travelers hear this din from inside the Chicago Transit Authority's buses and trains. The intricate network of interconnected train tracks and bus routes—which once also included horse cars, trolleys, and streetcars—composes the second-largest public-transportation system in the nation, a system that provides an average of 1.64 million rides per weekday around the city and surrounding suburbs.
Buses zip along 140 routes, pausing periodically at bus shelters or blue-and-white street signs as an automated voice of reason announces each stop in a resonant baritone. The subterranean and elevated "L" train system, whose lines were once named for Saul Bellow characters, switched over to its simpler color-coded system in 1993. Today, for example, the orange line leads to Midway, the blue line takes travelers to O'Hare, the red line connects Wrigley Field and the White Sox's U.S. Cellular Field, and the brown line ambles to the famed Steppenwolf Theatre.
In recent years, the CTA has launched a series of green initiatives, which help conserve energy and cut up to 82 percent of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and other emissions. In addition to offering an alternative to rising gas prices and traffic, the CTA offers LEED-certified headquarters, dispatches fleets of hybrid buses and other efficient vehicles, coordinates recycling programs for engine oil and batteries, and maintains a bike-and-ride system for cyclists who'd like lifts.
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