November 23, 2004

CTA service to both Midway and O'Hare airports will provide Thanksgiving travelers with reliable and economical transportation throughout the holiday period. Air travel is expected to be heavy from Wednesday, November 24 through Sunday, November 28.

Air travelers can reach O'Hare Airport on the Blue Line in 45 minutes from stations in the Dearborn subway downtown, where customers can make free connections from all other 'L' lines serving the Loop. They also can make transfers to the Blue Line from all east-west bus routes between Grand and Foster, and from most north-south routes.

Orange Line trains serve Midway Airport and make the trip from the Loop 'L' downtown to the airport in approximately 30 minutes. As with the Blue Line, customers can make free connections to Orange Line trains from other 'L' lines downtown, and customers can transfer to the Orange Line from most bus routes serving the Southwest Side.

Rail service to both airports runs every 10 minutes or less from early morning until late in the evening. Blue Line trains operate at all hours daily. Orange Line service begins leaving Midway at 3:55 a.m. weekdays and makes its first stop at the Library-State/Van Buren station at 4:20 a.m. On Saturdays, the first train leaves Midway at 4:35 a.m., arriving downtown at 5 a.m. and on Sundays service begins at 5:35 a.m. arriving downtown at 6 a.m. Monday though Saturday nights the last train leaves Midway at 12:50 a.m. arriving downtown at 1:15 a.m. On Sunday nights, the last train leaves the airport at 11:30 p.m., arriving in the Loop at 11:55 p.m.

Although the regular fare is $1.75 ($2 with a transfer), Chicago visitors should consider purchasing a Visitor Pass that is valid for unlimited rides on all CTA buses and trains, beginning with the first use. The 1-Day Visitor Pass costs $5; 2-Day, $9; 3-Day, $12; and a 5-Day Pass costs $18. The passes are sold at both O'Hare and Midway 'L' stations, Visitor Information Centers, several museums, and other locations.

To avoid traffic congestion, those driving to pick up or drop off air travelers using O'Hare, or who go downtown to shop, might wish to park at Blue Line stations near O'Hare and complete their trips by train. More than 1,600 spaces are available in the garage at Cumberland (8400 West) along the Kennedy Expressway, where cars can park for up to 12 hours for just $1.75. Parking also is available at 16 other 'L' stations throughout the CTA service area, including Rosemont on the Blue Line and Midway and Pulaski on the Orange Line.

Additionally on Thanksgiving, seasonal service also will begin on the CTA's #10 Museum of Science & Industry? route, which operates on weekends and holidays (except Christmas Day) year-round and on weekdays from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve from Michigan/Delaware beginning at 8:55 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday service begins at 9:25 a.m. Buses operate every 15 to 30 minutes.

For information about all CTA service, call 836-7000 (all local area codes) or visit CTA's web site at www.transitchicago.com.

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