CTA Provides Convenient Service for Spectators Traveling to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

October 8, 2008

Participants and spectators heading to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon are encouraged to use the convenient service provided by CTA. The marathon begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, October 12, starting just north of Jackson on Columbus Drive with the course winding through numerous city neighborhoods.

To decrease travel time and reduce lines, customers heading to the marathon are encouraged to buy CTA farecards or Visitor Passes in advance with sufficient value, or to add enough value to their existing farecards (i.e., the Chicago Card, Chicago Card Plus or magnetic strip Transit Card) for their return trips later in the day.

CTA personnel will be on duty at select stations along the Blue, Red, Green, Brown, Pink and Orange Lines and at major bus stops to assist customers and to provide travel information.

CTA will operate longer trains to accommodate spectators. Because bus routes in the vicinity of the marathon also will be impacted with intermittent reroutes or delays due to lane closures, CTA recommends customers allow extra travel time.

Because of the marathon, there will be no weekend reroutes due to construction on the Blue Line or in the Loop.

Rail Service
Blue Line
Longer trains will operate during marathon hours.

Brown Line
The first Brown Line trains will depart Kimball at 5 a.m., providing service between Kimball and Belmont until 5:30 a.m. Beginning at 5:30 a.m., trains leaving Kimball will provide service to the Loop. Longer trains will operate during marathon hours.

Green Line
Green Line service will begin early, the first trains will depart from Harlem/Lake at 6:00 a.m., 63rd/Ashland at 5:50 a.m. and 63rd/Cottage Grove at 6:11 a.m. Longer trains will operate during marathon hours.

Orange Line
Longer trains will operate during marathon hours.

Red Line
More frequent service and longer trains will operate during marathon hours.

Bus Service
CTA will operate earlier service on the #3 King Drive bus route between McCormick Place and Michigan/Chicago from 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. to accommodate runners and spectators staying in downtown and McCormick Place hotels.

Earlier service will also operate on the #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express beginning at 7 a.m. between Museum Campus and Michigan/Congress.

During the course of the race, there will be intermittent reroutes along several CTA bus routes. The affected routes are:

#2 Hyde Park Express
#3 King Drive      
#4 Cottage Grove          
#6 Jackson Park Express         
#8 Halsted         
#9 Ashland        
#10 Museum of Science & Industry      
#11 Lincoln/Sedgwick   
#12 Roosevelt   
#14 Jeffery Express      
#18 16th/18th    
#20 Madison      
#21 Cermak      
#22 Clark           
#29 State  
#35 35th
#36 Broadway   
#44 Wallace/Racine

#50 Damen       
#56 Milwaukee
#60 Blue Island/26th
#62 Archer
#65 Grand
#66 Chicago
#70 Division
#72 North
#73 Armitage
#74 Fullerton
#76 Diversey
#77 Belmont
#124 Navy Pier
#126 Jackson
#145 Wilson/Michigan Express
#146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express
#147 Outer Drive Express
#151 Sheridan
#152 Addison

Reroutes can be expected in the downtown area from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.; on the North Side from 6:30 a.m. until noon; on the West Side from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.; and on the South Side from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. All times are approximate and detours will be determined by Chicago police and CTA supervisory personnel.

Park & Ride Facilities
Parking is available for approximately 6,700 cars at CTA’s 18 Park & Ride facilities, mainly at terminals, throughout the CTA system. Rates are $3 at Rosemont and Forest Park and $2 at all other locations.

Park & Ride stations are listed on CTA’s system map and on the CTA’s web site. Customers may also obtain information on Park & Ride facilities by calling 836-7000 from any local area code.

Viewing Areas
For marathon fans interested in following the progress of the race, there are spectator viewing areas designated near CTA rail stations at 11 points along the race route.


  • First Viewing Area – Monroe (Red Line) Station – Race Start, Mile #2. Board a Red Line train and exit at Monroe. Walk a half-mile east toward Grant Park.
  • Second Viewing Area – Grand (Red Line) Station – Miles #1, #3 and #12. Board a Red Line train and exit at Grand.
  • Third Viewing Area – Chicago (Red Line) Station – Miles #3.5 and #11.5. Board a Red Line train and exit at Chicago. Walk three blocks west to LaSalle.
  • Fourth Viewing Area – Addison (Red Line) Station – Mile #7.75. Board a Red Line train and exit at Addison. Walk four blocks east to Broadway.
  • Fifth Viewing Area – Sedgwick (Brown Line) Station – Mile #10.25. Board a Brown Line train and exit at Sedgwick. Walk a half-block north to North Avenue.
  • Sixth Viewing Area – UIC-Halsted (Blue Line) Station – Miles #16 and 16.5. Board a Blue Line train and exit at UIC-Halsted. Use the Halsted or Morgan exits. Walk two blocks north on Morgan to Jackson to view the runners at Mile 16 in Greektown. Use the Halsted exit to view the runners at Mile 16.5 on Halsted.
  • Seventh Viewing Area – 18th (Pink Line) Station – Mile #19. Board a Pink Line train and exit at 18th. Walk one block east to Ashland to Mile 19 in Pilsen.
  • Eighth Viewing Area – Halsted (Orange Line) Station – Mile #20.5. Board an Orange Line train and exit at Halsted.
  • Ninth Viewing Area – Cermak-Chinatown (Red Line) Station – Mile #21.5. Board a Red Line train and exit at Cermak Road.
  • 10th Viewing Area – 35th-Bronzeville-IIT (Green Line) Station – Mile #23. Board a Green Line train and exit at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT. Use either the 34th Street or 35th Street exit.
  • 11th Viewing Area – Roosevelt (Red, Green and Orange Lines) Station – Finish Line. Board a Red, Green or Orange Line train and exit at Roosevelt. Walk east on Roosevelt toward the Museum Campus and Grant Park.

Fare Information
Cash Fare (Bus Only): $2.00

Transit Card: $1.75 (bus) / $2.00 (rail)
Stored value Transit Cards can be purchased with cash at any CTA rail station. Transit Cards also allow two additional rides in two hours on another bus and/or train to complete your trip for an additional 25 cents. Transit Cards also are available online at transitchicago.com. Packs of pre-valued Transit Cards are available at neighborhood Currency Exchanges and select Dominick’s or Jewel stores and CVS Pharmacies.

Visitor Passes: Unlimited ride Visitor Passes also are available. A one-day pass ($5) offers 24 hours of unlimited riding from the first use; two-day ($9), three-day ($12), five-day ($18) and seven-day ($20) passes are also available. Visitor Passes cannot be shared or recharged. Visitor Passes are sold at vending machines accepting cash and major credit cards at O’Hare Airport, Midway Airport, Union Station, and the Chicago/State, Cumberland, Rosemont and Howard CTA rail stations, the Water Works Visitor Information Center, Chicago Cultural Center and Harris Family Hostel.

Call 1-888-YOUR-CTA or visit www.transitchicago.com for advance sales and other sales outlets. Transit Cards and Visitor Passes will be sold at the CTA booth at The Bank of America Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11.

For all CTA service information, call 836-7000 (from any local area code) or visit the web site at www.transitchicago.com.

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