Safety and Chicago Rapid Transit..
Women will be safe alone in most parts of Chicago, though they should
exercise a degree of caution and awareness of their surroundings.
The El (Rapid Transit trains) is safe, even at night, though you
might want to seek out more-populated cars or the first car, to
be closest to the driver. Or you can take one of the buses that
parallel many train lines.
(Source: Chicago, Lonely Planet Guide Book)
Central Chicago is clean and feels safe. The "L" - short for elevated
train- is cheap and will take you most places you want to go, although
visitors might want to spring for a cab, particularly after dark
if they're going into unknown territory. A light-night trek back
from a north-end theatre by train proved to be a bit creepy.
(Source: Peggy Curran, "Week-end in Chicago, Montreal Gazette)
If you're arriving by plane, try to arrive mid-morning when the
transit rush is over. Take the "L" directly from the airport into
town for $1.50 (30 cents more if you require a transfer). I did
it with my0suitcase on wheels and it was a breeze. But...always
remain alert, practice big city vigilance and watch your handbag!
I stayed in the downtown core. During the day and some evenings,
I walked everywhere and felt fine about it. Once it got dark, I
took cabs when I needed to venture further afield. Each of the cab
drivers I rode with were polite, helpful and chatty. I never ever
felt uneasy. But..I also never ever allowed myself to be complaisant.
Chicago is a big city!
(Source: Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman Editor)