In addition to CTA, regional transit services are also provided by METRA http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html. The Metra trains are very useful if you choose to live in one of the Chicago suburbs and commute everyday to downtown Chicago. The Metra train network has 11 lines connecting Chicago to the distant suburbs (north, south and west):
Metra offers a wide variety of tickets including monthly passes (unlimited travel between fare zones indicated), 10-ride tickets (ten one-way trips at a savings of 15 percent), one-way tickets (a single, one-way ride), and an unlimited ride $5 weekend pass. Metra also has different fare programs for seniors, customers with disabilities, families, students and children.
Metra operates a distance-based fare system consisting of twelve fare zones. Regular one-way fares to downtown Chicago range from $2.15 from the closest zone, Zone A, to $8.05 from the farthest, Zone M.
You can buy tickets at all downtown stations and at all outlying stations where a ticket agent is on duty. One-way tickets can be purchased on the train, but if an agent is on duty at the station where you boarded, the conductor will charge you an additional $2. Ten-ride tickets and monthly passes also can be purchased online at http://store.metrarail.com/.