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Show you care with a CTA gift

  • CTA token necklace from Hocus Focus on etsy.com
CTA token necklace from Hocus Focus on etsy.com
November 25, 2013|By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz | RedEye

Tapped out on holiday gift ideas? Here are a few CTA token trinkets that harken back to the days of yore, the '90s, when riders could use tokens or magnetic stripe cards to pay their fares. The CTA eliminated tokens in 1999, while the magnetic stripe card, a mainstay for nearly two decades, was slated for elimination Dec. 15 before it won a reprieve thanks to problems with Ventra.

Disposable farecard earrings

$20, UrbaneBeads shop on etsy.com

Seller says: "I began collecting dropped and lost CTA transit passes and was inspired to reuse these cards within my jewelry making."

Disposable farecard notebook

$20, UrbaneBeads shop on etsy.com

Seller says: "Each notebook is made with 20 pages of drawing quality paper bound between two found CTA cards. These notebooks are a fun way to journal or sketch your travels in Chicago."

Token charm bracelet

$90, amyjjewelry shop on etsy.com

Seller says: "The token charm hangs from a sterling silver chain bracelet finished with a lobster style clasp."

Token cuff links

$160, citysouvenirs.com

Seller says: "Distinguished by three symmetrical cuts in the minting, these tokens are an excellent example of the industrial design of that period."

Token earrings

$28.99, SubwayCufflinks shop on etsy.com

Seller says: "The perfect item for anyone who has lived, worked, visited or attended school in Chicago."

Token necklace

$32.75, Hocus Focus shop on etsy.com

Seller says: "Just imagine the places it might have traveled, perhaps a trip to the Art or Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Soldier's Field, Wrigley Field or even to O'Hare Field. Congratulations, you are about to own a fine piece of Chicago history. Where will you take it?"

Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Lake Red Line

What's up, Mr. Popular? The Lake Red Line station in the Loop is the most visited rail station this year through August, according to CTA data. The station, which beats out the entire Pink and Purple Line ridership this year, narrowly edged runner-up Clark/Lake by 46,500 riders. The difference is that the Clark/Lake station has multiple platforms while the Lake station is jammed with rush-hour riders, some of whom were displaced when the Washington Red Line station closed seven years ago and others enjoying a new perk this year: free transfer from the Washington Blue Line. That transfer used to cost 25 cents.

Next up: Central Green Line stop

tswartz@tribune.com

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