November 24, 2003

CTA service to both major Chicago airports will provide Thanksgiving travelers with reliable and economical transportation throughout the holiday period. Air travel is expected to be heavy from Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30.

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

Midway Airport is served by Orange Line trains, which make the trip from the Loop 'L' downtown in about 30 minutes. As with the Blue Line, free connections can be made 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 $1.50 ($1.80 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, and at 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 be parked for up to 12 hours for just $1.75. Parking is also available at 14 other 'L' stations throughout the CTA service area, including Rosemont on the Blue Line and Midway and Pulaski on the Orange Line.

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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