Spectators planning to view the fireworks display in Grant Park Saturday night, July 3, will be served by a large fleet of extra CTA buses and longer 'L' trains. With the fireworks capping off an evening of Taste of Chicago and a concert in the Petrillo Music Shell, public transportation will be the most convenient way to travel. The post-fireworks rush home generally produces the busiest night of CTA ridership all year.
"For everyone to have a safe, enjoyable evening, the CTA will be the most effective way to get to and from activities downtown," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "Most 'L' lines will be running later into the evening, more frequently and with more cars, and there will be hundreds of extra buses to carry folks home when the fireworks are over."
To speed boarding both buses and trains, CTA customers are urged to purchase farecards in advance of their trips. A bright yellow CTA trailer is parked on Jackson east of Michigan, where visitors to Taste of Chicago can purchase farecards for $1.50 or $1.80, depending on whether they are needed for a single ride or for trips requiring a transfer. At the same walk-up windows CTA is also selling Visitor Passes. Farecards also will be sold Saturday night from armored trucks parked on the east side of State between Adams and Jackson and on the north side of Adams between Wabash and Michigan.
The fastest service Saturday will be by 'L.' Trains will operate downtown past midnight with the maximum six or eight cars on the Blue, Brown, Green, Orange and Red Lines. Extra cars will also run on Purple Line shuttle trains between Linden and Howard. Yellow Line trains, which run every day during Taste of Chicago, will operate past midnight Saturday between Dempster/Skokie and the Howard Red Line station.
An 800-car parking lot at the Yellow Line terminal, at 5001 W. Dempster, in Skokie, provides an ideal place for drivers using the nearby Edens Expressway to park their cars and complete their trips downtown on CTA. Other ample parking facilities are available at Rosemont, Cumberland and Forest Park stations on the Blue Line; at Midway and Pulaski on the Orange Line; Linden on the Purple Line; Howard on the Red Line, and Ashland/63rd on the Green Line.
Also on Saturday, extra buses will be added on 16 routes serving the downtown area, including some that will have later hours than usual on a Saturday night, mainly to carry riders home as the evening's activities wind down. The routes with extra service are: #3 King Drive, #4 Cottage Grove,#6 Jeffery Express, #12 Roosevelt, #20 Madison, #22 Clark, #29 State, #36 Broadway, #56 Milwaukee, #60 Blue Island/26th, #62 Archer, #65 Grand, #66 Chicago, #126 Jackson, #146 Marine-Michigan and #151 Sheridan. From 2 p.m. until after the fireworks end, service on the west end of the #60 route will be extended from Cicero/24th Place to 54th/Cermak.
CTA's #121 Navy Pier Express route, which connects Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center (formerly NorthWestern Station) with Navy Pier, will also operate on Saturday. #121 buses will run every 12 to 15 minutes from 1 p.m. to midnight. These buses stop for Union Station northbound on Canal at Adams, and for Ogilvie Center northbound on Canal at both Madison and Washington. The bus stop at Navy Pier is just north of Grand Avenue. #29 State, #56 Milwaukee, #65 Grand and #66 Chicago buses also serve the pier.
With both Michigan Avenue and State Street downtown closed to traffic after 6 p.m. Saturday, Dearborn Street will be used through the Loop by most northbound buses, and Clark Street by southbound buses. #20 Madison, #60 Blue Island/26th, and #126 Jackson buses to the West Side will start their trips west of Dearborn.
Uniformed supervisors and other CTA personnel will be on duty throughout the downtown area to help customers find the service they need. CTA will also have extra Customer Assistants available at 'L' stations to help answer questions about farecards and service.
For details about CTA service, call 836-7000 (all local area codes).###