Eco-Friendly Transportation

Getting There Greener

Father, mother and baby on bicycles.

Union of Concerned Scientists’ published an analysis of the environmental impact of domestic vacation travel, where global warming pollution can add up quickly.  Getting There Greener: The Guide to Your Lower-Carbon Vacation, provides a comprehensive, peer-reviewed comparison of the highest-carbon and lowest-carbon travel options. Our research shows that three key factors determine the environmental impact of your travel:

  • The type of vehicle you are taking

  • The distance you are traveling

  • The number of people traveling with you

While the basic concept might seem intuitive, some of our findings may surprise you. Find the complete Getting There Greener Report here.

Benefits of Biking


1. Bicycling is for everyone

2. Bicycling can help you live longer and better

3. Bicycling boosts the economy

4. Bicycling is less expensive than driving a car

5. Bicycling reduces road congestion and air pollution

6. Bicycling is safe, and together we can make it safer

  • The health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a factor of 20 to one. (Hillman, M., 1992)

  • There is safety in numbers: the more cyclists there are, the safer bicycling is. (Jacobsen, P., 2003)

Taking Bikes on Trains and Buses

CTA Train Rules

Bicycles are permitted on the ‘L’ (CTA trains) every weekday except from 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm (with certain exceptions where crowding is anticipated). On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (except when prohibited), bicycles are allowed on trains all day. No extra charge.

CTA Bus Rules

All CTA buses are equipped with bike racks. No extra charge.

Metra Train Rules

Metra permits bicycles on all weekday trains arriving in Chicago after 9:30 A.M. and leaving Chicago before 3:00 P.M. and after 7:00 P.M., and on all weekend trains except for Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza, and the Air & Water Show. No extra charge.

Local Resources

Bike Shops

South: Dan’s 6715 Roosevelt, Berwyn 708-484-5000
Central: Bike Fix 310 Lake St, Oak Park 708-445-8760
North: Barnard’s 6109 W North Ave, Oak Park 708-524-2660

Biking Advocacy, Education, Networking & Events

  • Active Transportation Alliance

    • The mission of Active Transportation Alliance is to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. We advocate for transportation that encourages and promotes safety, physical activity, health, recreation, social interaction, equity, environmental stewardship and resource conservation.

    • Visit here:

  • League of Illinois Bicyclist

    • Statewide advocate for all Illinois bicyclists, promoting bicycle access, education, and safety.

    • Visit here:

  • Oak Park Cycle Club

    • Proud to be the only not-for-profit club in Oak Park devoted to cycling and fostering mutual respect between all who share our suburban streets.

    • Visit here:

  • The Chainlink

    • The Chainlink is the one-stop Chicagoland resource for connecting cyclists to share info on bikes, routes, rides, and events.

    • Visit here:

  • Zappa Wheelsmaking biking part of your: Resources for commuting by bicycle

KK Tan/Shutterstock

KK Tan/Shutterstock

Biking FAQs

What kind of lock should I get?

Depends where you park and for how long. No lock is perfect. “U” locks are effective and convenient. Add a cable to secure the wheels in high-risk areas.

What can I do to be safe?

Try to be as visible as possible (lights, bright-colored clothing, white helmet), but pretend you are invisible. Never trust a car. Avoid car doors! Avoid busy, fast roads. There are many quiet side streets in Oak Park that will take you nearly anywhere you want to go. Use hand signals so that drivers know your intentions.

Is the old bike in my garage adequate?

Maybe. Pump up the tires and take it for a ride around the block. Check the brakes and the gear shifters. If in doubt, take it in for a tune-up ($80).

How can I pick a safe and simple route?

Consult the Oak Park Bicycle Plan on the Village website or contact Karl Lauger,, 708.265.4011, or Bill Watson,, 708.997.5524, for advice.