CTA and Metra Partner to Offer a Virtual Transitpalooza to Lollapalooza

July 31, 2023

Both agencies are adding service and beefing up capacity to carry music lovers to the extraordinary, four-day festival

CTA and Metra will add service and capacity to existing train routes to serve the tens of thousands of music fans expected for Lollapalooza 2023 at Grant Park. Avoid the nightmare of stand-still traffic and the astronomical prices for downtown parking, and be as jolly as a red, hot chili pepper with extra money saved simply by using affordable and convenient public transit.

Starting Thursday, Aug. 3 and running through Sunday, Aug. 6, Metra will provide extra trains with added railcars for expanded capacity and adjust schedules on most lines to accommodate the anticipated demand for ridership. Meanwhile, CTA customers can rely on the Red and Blue Lines, as well as the elevated lines in the Loop to get to the festival. Yellow Line service will be extended until midnight each night, and various bus routes will connect between Metra trains at Chicago Union Station or Ogilvie Transportation Center with Grant Park.

To help Metra riders locate CTA buses at Union and Ogilvie stations, CTA and Metra will post sign boards directing riders to the appropriate bus routes. Buses serving those routes will also have signs in their windows indicating they serve Lollapalooza.

Bus service to the show includes:

  • From Union Station, take the #126 Jackson
  • From Ogilvie Transportation Center, take the #J14 Jeffery Jump


“Public transportation is clearly the most affordable, most convenient way to travel to Lollapalooza, and Metra and CTA are again working together to make the trip as easy as possible,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “Our added service and Day Passes make choosing public transportation an easy decision.”

“We are happy to be able to get music fans to one of the largest summer festivals in the city by providing them with public transit options to Grant Park,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Festival goers can save more money for food and merchandise when they buy one of our cost friendly fare passes making their transit experience even more convenient and affordable.”

CTA riders can take advantage of the agency’s low-cost, multi-day unlimited ride passes: $5 for a 1-day, $15 for a 3-day; $20 for a 7-day— ideal for those attending Lollapalooza for multiple days or attending Lollapalooza after-show concerts. CTA riders also can use Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay or any contactless credit or debit card, for pay-as-you-go rides ($2.25 for bus, $2.50 for train).

Metra offers a variety of passes that can be used by festivalgoers. On weekdays, there is a $10 Day Pass that’s good for unlimited rides on all Metra lines, all day. For those traveling from within the three fare zones closest to downtown, there is also a $6 Day Pass good for unlimited rides across three zones. Both Day Passes are available only in the Ventra app. On the weekend, riders can choose the $7 Saturday or Sunday Day Pass for unlimited travel on Saturday or Sunday. Ventra app users also can choose the $10 Weekend Pass, good for unlimited travel on both Saturday and Sunday. Concertgoers are highly encouraged to use the Ventra app for all tickets – but make sure your phone is charged.

All riders must have a ticket to ride Metra trains, and tickets will be checked. On outbound trains, riders may be asked to show their ticket before boarding at downtown stations. To help conductors more quickly validate fares on trains crowded with people going to the show, Metra will suspend the onboard sale of reduced fare student tickets (which can slow conductors down) on all lines during Lollapalooza. Customers can still buy reduced fare student tickets from ticket agents and via the Ventra app. All customers are encouraged to buy their tickets before boarding trains.

Alcohol is banned on all Metra trains during the four-day festival. Customers are also asked to not bring backpacks or water bottles on Metra trains throughout the event. Metra riders should also be advised that due to the expected increase in ridership, Metra may not be able to accommodate bicycles onboard and conductors can refuse boarding to bicyclists.

For more information on Lollapalooza service offered by Metra and CTA, visit metra.com or transitchicago.com/lollapalooza   

Twitter: @metra and @ctaalert

About Metra

Metra is an essential resource that safely and reliably connects individuals to the things
that matter most in their lives — their work, their homes and their families.

About CTA

The CTA operates the nation's second largest public transportation system and covers the City of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. On an average weekday, CTA provides more than 900,000 rides.



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