CTA is the Best Way to get to the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

October 3, 2018

CTA providing extra race-day service, spectating guide and souvenir Ventra card

The Chicago Transit Authority will provide additional service for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott Health and Fitness Expo this weekend. Full travel details are available at transitchicago.com/alerts. CTA recommends allowing plenty of travel time, as well as purchasing fares and unlimited-ride passes well before the race. More information about purchasing fares is below.

Additional Service
Abbott Health and Fitness Expo at McCormick Place - Friday 10/5 and Saturday 10/6

  • Rail: Green Line will operate longer trains. Exit at Cermak-McCormick Place station
  • Bus: Extra service on #3 King Drive

2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon at Grant Park - Sunday 10/7

  • Rail: Red, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange and Purple Lines
  • Bus: #3 King Drive, #8 Halsted, #9 Ashland, #22 Clark, #36 Broadway and #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express

Viewing areas near CTA stations
CTA is a great option to get you to prime marathon viewing areas:

  1. Grand (Red Line) Station – Miles #1, #3 and #12.5
  2. Monroe (Red Line) Station –Mile #2
  3. Chicago (Red Line) Station – Miles #3.5 and #12.25 
  4. Clark/Division (Red Line) Station – Miles #4 and #12
  5. Sheridan (Red Line) Station – Mile #8
  6. Addison (Red Line) Station – Mile #8.5  
  7. Sedgwick (Brown Line) Station – Mile #11 
  8. Washington/Wells (Brown/Pink/Orange lines) Elevated Station – Mile #13.5
  9. UIC-Halsted (Blue Line) Station – Miles #14.25 and #17
  10. 18th (Pink Line) Station – Mile #19
  11. Cermak-Chinatown (Red Line) Station – Miles #21.5
  12. Sox-35th and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT (Red/Green Line) Stations – Mile #23
  13. Cermak-McCormick Place (Green Line) Station – Mile #25
  14. Roosevelt (Red/Green/Orange Lines) Station – Finish Line

Street Closures
There will be a number of street closures during the weekend related to the marathon. Please note that due to street closures, reroutes and traffic congestion, estimated arrival times for buses may not be accurately reflected on CTA Bus Tracker.

Driving? Use CTA Park & Ride
If you are traveling to the marathon, leave your vehicle at one of our 18 Park & Ride Facilities and let our convenient and affordable service take you to Grant Park.

Buy unlimited ride passes and fares in advance
As with all large-scale events, CTA advises customers to purchase their fares and load their Ventra cards well in advance to avoid long lines and boarding delays the day of the event.

For Souvenir, Reloadable Ventra Cards:
The keepsake Ventra cards are available for purchase preloaded with a 3-day pass, a 7-day pass, or $20 in transit value. These plastic, reusable cards cost $5 and can be reloaded with value or transit passes, like a regular Ventra card. These souvenir cards can be purchased:

Will Call Hours and Locations (a very limited amount of cards will be available at these locations for purchase while supplies last)

  • 2018 Health & Fitness Expo at McCormick Place
    • Fri. 10/5 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Sat. 10/6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • O’Hare Blue Line Terminal (in the lower level concourse)
    • Thurs. 10/4 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Fri. 10/5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Sat. 10/6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Midway Orange Terminal - Fri. 10/5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For Souvenir, Disposable Tickets:
Similar to past races, CTA is also offering Chicago Marathon-themed disposable paper tickets, loaded with single-ride, 1-day or 3-day passes, in select station Ventra Vending Machines. 

These tickets can be purchased, while supplies last, at the following stations:

  • Pink Line: 18th
  • Red Line: Addison, Cermak-Chinatown, Chicago, Clark/Division, Grand, Monroe, Roosevelt (Red & Elevated), Sheridan, Sox-35th and 95th/Dan Ryan
  • Blue Line: O’Hare, Rosemont, Cumberland and UIC-Halsted
  • Green Line: Cermak-McCormick Place, Harlem-Lake and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT
  • Brown Line: Sedgwick and Washington/Wells (Elevated)
  • Orange Line: Midway

For Ventra card users:
Ventra card users are encouraged to add unlimited ride passes (1-day, 3-day, 7-day and 30-day) or transit value to their card via:

  • Ventra app
  • Ventra vending machines at rail stations
  • Online at www.ventrachicago.com
  • At more than 1,000 local retailers (ventrachicago.com or the Ventra app for locations).

For customers without a Ventra card:
Customers can also purchase from Ventra vending machines:

  • 1-day unlimited ride ticket ($10)
  • Single-ride ticket ($3) that includes up to two transfers in two hours.

CTA riders can also use Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, or any contactless credit or debit card, for pay-as-you-go rides (PAYG is $2.50 for buses and trains for most riders at most locations).

Stay in the Loop on CTA Service
Plan your trip using the Google Transit Trip Planner. Be sure to also check out CTA on Facebook or Twitter (@CTA) for system travel updates and alerts.
For details about all CTA service, call 312-836-7000 or visit the CTA website at transitchicago.com.

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