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Cubs Night Game Alerts Test

Cubs Night Game Alerts Test Program

We’re always looking for ways to use technology to make taking the CTA more convenient and comfortable. For that reason, we’ve begun testing a new, unique program this summer in which customers can opt to receive text alerts to make sure you’re aware of a specific event that might affect your commute, even when service is expected to operate normally – in this case, Chicago Cubs weekday night games in late summer and fall months of 2017.

The CTA Night Game Alerts program will allow riders who typically take the Red Line from downtown stations to voluntarily sign up to receive text alerts about night games. If you sign up, you’ll get a “heads up” message about the potential for heavier-than-normal train crowds during the evening rush on the Red Line.

This program is a test in response to feedback we’ve received from customers who have suggested we provide notifications about sporting events and other special events that can make it more crowded than usual on the commute home so, for those who are able to can work around unusually crowded times by choosing to ride earlier or later.

We’re the first major transit agency in the U.S. to test a service that texts select customers ahead of specific events. We’re able to do this by leveraging the technological capability of the Ventra fare payment system, and we’ll measure the effectiveness and popularity of providing customized travel information ahead of possibly expanding this type of service in the future.

How it will work:

  • Sign up for alerts by texting CTAALERT to 89883 to learn more and opt-in to receive these alerts in late August and September.

  • Customers received text alerts from us on Aug. 28-30, Sept. 12-15 during the regular season and how now extended the service into the postseason. Customers who have already signed up for alerts will continue to receive them for Cubs postseason games that are scheduled at Wrigley Field in the evening.

  • You only get texts if you voluntarily sign up for them, and you can opt out at any time.

  • The alerts will recommend traveling on the Red Line before 5 pm or after 6 pm, when Cubs fans are likely to board northbound trains. In some cases, you may be offered incentives for traveling at less crowded times, which would include reimbursement for the ride taken or a charitable donation made in your name.

  • You will need to have your Ventra card already registered with to participate. If you don’t already, it’s simple. Just go to and in a few quick steps you’re all set – and card registration will provide you with many account benefits, including protecting your account balance in the event your card is lost, receiving account notifications and more.

CTA is testing this service with Mastercard and City Digital, a UI LABS collaboration, in partnership with Ideas42. Mastercard will sponsor certain incentives which could include fare reimbursement or charitable donations to Stand Up To Cancer based on the number of customers who participate in the program on select days and times.

The CTA Night Game Alerts Test Program is separate from the long-running CTA Updates service, where you can sign up for texts and/or emails about planned and unplanned events which might affect service, such as reroutes or disruptions, by line and time of day.

For advance notice of planned work and late-breaking alerts about unplanned events via text or e-mail for any CTA route affecting service (such as disruptions and reroutes), sign up for CTA Updates.

**Consent is not a condition of purchase. Automated messages will be sent to the phone number provided. Message frequency may vary. Message & data rates may apply. Wireless carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages. Texts may be sent using an automatic telephone dialing system. Text STOP to cancel. Text HELP for more information. View Privacy Policy at

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