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Giving the gift of CTA

November 28, 2011|By Tracy Swartz, RedEye

Cyber Monday is over—but the shopping season is just beginning. Instead of avoiding lines—why not embrace them?

"L" lines are the subject of several CTA-related gifts including T-shirts and greeting cards. Buses, too, have inspired presents from tokens to pins. To keep you in the Loop this holiday season, Going Public has rounded up 12 gifts of Christmass transit and matched them to the riders you love (or love to hate).

For the:

>> Hipster with the shoulder bag who tries to bring his bike on the train during rush hour … Buttons of various CTA stops for $1 each on etsy.com

>> Woman who uses multiple buses to go shopping … A vinyl tote that features a map of the Loop lines for $24 on ctagifts.com

>> Girl who applies lip gloss on the train … A mirror surrounded by CTA farecards on a 10-by-10 inch wooden frame for $35 on etsy.com

>> Ukrainian Village bar-goer who frequents Urban Outfitters … An "Owl Service" T-shirt for $24 on transittees.com

>> Railroad enthusiast who remember what the trains were like in the good old days … Posters of CTA announcements including "Customers, an inbound train toward the Loop will be arriving shortly" for $20 each on etsy.com

>> Rider with a 30-day unlimited pass and a sense of CTAdventure … A Chicago journal featuring a train scene on its cover for $11 on cafepress.com

>> Baby who smells like the Red Line … A Sox-35th stop baby bucket hat for $15 on transittees.com

>> Friendly rider who always gives up a seat for a senior citizen or a pregnant woman … A package of 10 "L" greeting cards for $18 on cafepress.com

>> Guy who boards the bus just to ask the driver for directions … A ball point pen that contains a map of the CTA for $5 on ctagifts.com

>> Logan Square resident who wants to show off at brunch … A map of the Blue Line etched on a copper cuff for $50 on etsy.com

>> Lil' rider who sees the CTA from the comfort of a stroller … A Brown Line wooden train for $10 on ctagifts.com

>> All CTA riders … No service cuts or fare hikes this year. Consider it a gift that's light on the wallet.

Track the holiday train

The CTA holiday train will travel Wednesday through Saturday on the Orange Line, Wednesday on the Green Line and Thursday through Saturday on the Brown Line. Send your holiday train snaps to tswartz@tribune.com.

RIDER'S BLOCK

My pledge to ride every CTA bus line continues. I rode the No. 52A-South-Kedzie last week and boiled my review down to a tweet.

@tracyswartz 44 mins from Kedzie Orange Line to 115th/Springfield. Circles Marquette Park. Travels through Evergreen Park. Stops by Kraft Foods factory.

135 routes down, 4 to go!

Next up: No. 62H-Archer/Harlem.

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