CHICAGO BUS AND STREETCAR ROUTES

THROUGH ROUTES 1-23

Chicago's first numbered routes were "Through Routes" 1 through 23. These routes were ordered created by a 1908 city ordinance, and would operate over trackage of more than one streetcar company. Many Through Routes were discontinued by 1924, enabling those route numbers to be reused over the next few years, when all streetcar routes were assigned numbers, originally for internal accounting purposes.

Listed in this page are only the dates which those routes existed as Through Routes. More detailed route histories are available at the other pages in this section.

Unless noted, all extension or replacement bus routes were operated by the same companies which had introduced the streetcar routes. In 1908, Calumet Electric Street Railway and South Chicago City Railway merged to form Calumet & South Chicago Railway. Prior to the formation of CTA, Chicago Railways was the only company operating trolleybuses.


1 Cottage Grove-Broadway
Chicago Railways (north of Downtown)
Chicago City Railway (south of Downtown)

9/30/12 - Through Route streetcar introduced
10/7/46 - Through Route discontinued

Used 55th St. branch of Cottage Grove route, operated north via Broadway. After discontinuance of route, certain route 4 streetcars continued to serve 55th St. branch during rush hours until 8/1/47.


2 Clybourn-Wentworth
Chicago Railways (north of Downtown)
Chicago City Railway (south of Downtown)

6/6/10 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/13/24 - Through Route discontinued


3 Lincoln-Indiana
Chicago Railways (north of Downtown)
Chicago City Railway (south of Downtown)

10/5/12 - Through Route streetcar introduced
3/11/51 - Through Route discontinued


4 Cottage Grove
Chicago City Railway (north of 71st St.)
Calumet Electric Street Railway (south of 71st St.)

2/1/14 - Through Route streetcar introduced between downtown and 119th/Morgan
8/12/18 - Through Route revised to operate to 115th/Cottage Grove.
6/19/55 - streetcar route converted to buses

Original Through Route used Michigan Ave. south of 95th St., shifted to Cottage Grove effective 8/12/18.


5 Cottage Grove-South Chicago
Chicago City Railway (north of 75th St.)
Calumet Electric Street Railway (south of 75th St.)

2/23/13 - Through Route streetcar introduced between downtown and 92nd/Commercial
4/10/27 - extended south primarily via Ewing to 108th St., replacing portion of route 24
7/14/47 - Ewing extension discontinued as redundant to route 30
12/4/49 - Through Route discontinued

When discontinued, service on South Chicago Ave. had coexisted for 2 years with bus route 25 (now 30).


6 State-Milwaukee
Chicago Railways (north of Downtown)
Chicago City Railway (south of Downtown)

1/18/12 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/13/24 - Through Route discontinued


7 State-Madison
Chicago Railways (north of Downtown)
Chicago City Railway (south of Downtown)

10/9/11 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/13/24 - Through Route discontinued


8 Halsted
Chicago Railways (north of 23rd St.)
Chicago City Railway (south of 23rd St.)

12/13/11 - first Through Route streetcar introduced, serving 63rd St. at south end
7/16/12 - original Through Route discontinued
1912 - some service extended south of 79th St. over what now is route 112
12/4/49 - segment south of 79th St. transferred to route 111A Vincennes-111th
11/25/51 - buses substituted on weekends
5/29/54 - streetcar route converted to buses

Various Through Route combinations existed throughout the early history of this route. Original Through Route operated between Grace/Halsted and 63rd/Stony Island via Halsted and 63rd St. Beginning in 1912, some Halsted service, mainly route 42 Halsted-Downtown service, began operating south of 79th St. via Vincennes and 111th St. to Sacramento, over what now is the 112 route. While for most of through service continuing north on Halsted, the south terminal remained 79th St. Effective 5/24/31, the through Halsted service generally turned around at 111th/Sacramento, with the downtown service generally turning at 79th St. Through service south of 79th St. discontinued 12/4/49, when segment south of 79th St. was converted to buses.


9 Ashland
Chicago Railways (north of Cermak)
Southern Street Railway (Cermak to Archer)
Chicago City Railway (south of Archer)

9/4/08 - Through Route streetcar introduced
5/11/52 - buses substituted on weekends
2/13/54 - streetcar route converted to buses

Until 8/21/36, streetcars operated north of Cortland via Southport instead of Ashland. On that date, the through streetcar route via Ashland was finally completed.


10 Western
Chicago Railways (north of 26th St.)
Chicago City Railway (south of 26th St.)

9/5/11 - Through Route streetcar introduced
8/1/48 - south and north ends converted to buses, transferred to routes 49A and 49B

Route split into the present three separate routes 8/1/48, when buses replaced streetcars on south segment (route 49A) and on north segment (route 49B). Remaining streetcar service on middle segment numbered route 49.


11 Ogden-Clark
Chicago Railways

10/26/11 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/14/24 - Through Route discontinued


12 Blue Island-Wells
Chicago Railways

6/26/11 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/14/24 - Through Route discontinued


13 Halsted-Archer
Chicago Railways (north of 23rd St.)
Chicago City Railway (south of 23rd St.)

12/13/11 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/14/24 - Through Route discontinued

Operated between Waveland/Halsted and Cicero/Archer.


14 12th-Ogden-Wells
Chicago Railways

6/26/11 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/14/24 - Through Route discontinued

Operated between Kenton/Roosevelt and Diversey/Clark.


15 21st-Wells
Chicago Railways

12/27/09 - Through Route streetcar introduced
8/15/12 - Through Route discontinued

Operated between Marshall/21st and Diversey/Clark.


16 Lake
Chicago Railways (Downtown to Cicero)
Cicero & Proviso Street Railway (west of Cicero)
Chicago City Railway (south of Downtown)

1912 - Through Route streetcar introduced between downtown and Austin Blvd.
9/14/24 - Through Route adopted via State St. to 119th/Morgan
10/7/46 - Through Route discontinued on State St.
5/30/54 - streetcar route converted to buses
10/5/97 - discontinued


17 Kedzie
Chicago Railways (north of Cermak)
Southern Street Railway (Cermak to 31st St.)
Chicago City Railway (south of 31st St.)

2/1/11 - Through Route streetcar introduced
12/4/49 - Through Route discontinued

Similar to route 52, except included extension on Kedzie north from Milwaukee Ave., opening 2/7/13 and eventually reaching Bryn Mawr. Streetcar extension eliminated, replaced 12/4/49 by extending Homan bus route 82A further north. North Kedzie service eventually became route 89.


18 Halsted-Madison
Chicago Railways

1/3/10 - Through Route streetcar introduced
7/3/33 - Through Route discontinued

Operated between Waveland/Halsted and Austin/Madison.


19 Chicago-State
Chicago Railways (west of Downtown)
Chicago City Railway (south of Downtown)

1/18/12 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/15/12 - Through Route discontinued

Operated between Austin/Chicago and 63rd/State.


20 Madison
Chicago Railways (east of Pulaski)
Cicero & Proviso Street Railway (west of Pulaski)

12/27/10 - Through Route streetcar introduced between downtown and Austin Blvd.
5/11/52 - buses substituted on weekends
12/13/53 - streetcar route converted to buses


21 North Ave.-Downtown
Chicago Railways

6/26/11 - Through Route streetcar introduced
8/15/12 - Through Route discontinued

Operated between between Cicero/North and downtown via Milwaukee Ave.


22 Clark-Wentworth
Chicago Railways (north of Downtown)
Chicago City Railway (south of Downtown)

3/17/08 - Through Route streetcar introduced
9/5/54 - buses substituted on weekends
9/7/57 - streetcar route on Clark converted to buses, Through Route discontinued

When streetcar route on Clark was converted to buses, remaining streetcar service on Wentworth was renumbered 22A. That was Chicago's last streetcar route, converted to buses 6/21/58. Effective 2/15/76, route 22A was renumbered 24.


23 Morgan-Racine
Chicago Railways (north of 21st St.)
Southern Street Railway (21st St. to Archer)
Chicago City Railway (south of Archer)

12/1/12 - Through Route streetcar introduced, combining Erie and Racine routes
7/25/48 - streetcar route converted to buses
9/13/81 - discontinued