Chicago's rapid transit system, most commonly referred to as the "L" (short for "elevated train"), serves around 650,000 passengers on an average weekday, making it the 3rd busiest rapid transit system in the U.S., behind only the New York subway and the Washington D.C. Metro.
Currently, the Chicago "L" system encompasses 145 different stations, and runs over eight individual lines (Red, Blue, Orange, Green, Brown, Yellow, Purple, and Pink), of which none are more frequently used than the lakefront Red Line. But despite the Red Line being the city's most frequently used railway however, it's the Clark/Lake station in the Loop, which isn't a part of the CTA's Red Line, that routinely sees the most traffic, with an average of 20,765 passengers passing through its turnstiles each and every day as of June 2012.
In a location that's right around the corner from Chicago's theatre district and also directly in the heart of the city's major business and financial district, it's easy to see why the Clark/Lake station is among the busiest in town, especially when you consider it services every line except the Red and the Yellow, which acts only as an express to Skokie. But given it's optimal location that is close to so many different amenities and attractions here in downtown Chicago, you might be surprised at just how many area residents use the Clark/Lake station as an outbound train for various reasons, rather than just the stop you get off at coming into the city every day for work.
A number of condo and apartment buildings are now positioned just steps from the Clark/Lake station, most notably 111 W. Wacker, and as residential development in Chicago's largest commercial district continues, it's becoming more and more clear that Clark/Lake will continue to be the city's most used "L" station, not because of a sudden influx of everyday commuters however, but rather an on-going trend that's making the Loop a hot destination to both work AND live full-time.
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