CTA to Provide Additional Bus and Rail Service for Upcoming Weekend Events

July 18, 2014

23 bus routes detoured Sunday morning for Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon

The Chicago Transit Authority is providing additional bus and rail service to accommodate those traveling to events throughout the city this week, including the Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park, the Phish 3-day concert at Northerly Island, the Billy Joel and Blake Shelton concerts at Wrigley Field and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon.

Also, on Sunday, July 20, beginning as early as 3 a.m. and continuing until approximately 3 p.m., 23 CTA bus routes serving downtown and the lakefront area between Grand and 35th Street and west to Laflin, will be detoured to adjacent streets due to street closures for the annual Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon (additional details below).

To help decrease travel times and reduce lines at rail stations during the return trip, the CTA recommends that customers either load transit value or passes to their Ventra farecard at rail stations, online or at more than 1,300 local retailers ahead of time (see below for more information) or purchase a 1-day unlimited ride Ventra ticket.

Customers are advised to allow extra travel time when heading to/from these events.


Red Line
  • Friday and Saturday: longer trains will operate until 1:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: longer trains will begin operating at 5 a.m.
Blue Line
  • Friday: Longer trains operating from Forest Park will be provided until 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Longer trains will operate in both directions beginning at 10:30 a.m. until at least 11 p.m.
Brown Line
  • Saturday: Longer trains will operate beginning 10 a.m. until end of service.
  • Sunday:  Service from Kimball to the Loop will begin at 8 a.m. with longer trains operating from 10 a.m. until end of service.
Green Line
  • Friday:  Longer trains will operate from Harlem/Lake beginning 6 p.m. until end of service; and from 63rd/Cottage Grove beginning 6:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday*: Longer trains will operate in both directions beginning 11 a.m. until the end of service.
    *Note: on Saturday and Sunday from the start of service until 11:40 a.m., Green Line service between the Roosevelt and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT stations will be temporarily suspended due to station construction work. A free bus shuttle will be provided and operate between the adjacent stations. Customers will also be provided free transfers back into the rail stations to resume the remainder of their trips. Customers are encouraged to allow extra travel time. (see here for more details)
Pink Line
  • Friday: Longer trains will operate from 54th/Cermak beginning 9:30 p.m. until end of service.
  • Saturday:  Longer trains will operate from 11 a.m. until the end of service; with more frequent service provided every 12 minutes between 9 p.m. and midnight.
  • Sunday: Longer trains will operate from 11 a.m. until the end of service; with more frequent service provided every 12 minutes beginning 6 p.m. until midnight.
Yellow Line
  • Friday and Saturday: service from Howard will be extended until midnight.



Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park

The CTA will operate longer trains along the Green Line and provide additional service along the #9 Ashland bus route for the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park beginning Friday, July 18 until Sunday, July 20. Concertgoers can get to Union Park via the # 9, #20 Madison or #50 Damen bus routes, or by taking the Green or Pink lines to the Ashland and Morgan stations.

Billy Joel and Blake Shelton Concerts at Wrigley Field

To accommodate concert goers heading to Wrigley Field this weekend for the Billy Joel concert at 8 p.m. Friday and the Blake Shelton concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, the CTA will operate longer trains on the Red Line until 1:30 a.m. and Yellow Line trains will operate until midnight from Howard.

Several CTA bus routes also provide convenient service directly to Wrigley Field including the #8 Halsted, #22 Clark, #152 Addison and #80 Irving Park.

Concert goers heading to Wrigley Field can board Red Line trains from stations in the State Street subway downtown, or from Howard, which also connects with Purple or Yellow Line trains serving the northern suburbs and has a Park & Ride facility with more than 550 parking spaces. Park & Ride facilities are also available at the Skokie Yellow Line and Linden Purple Line stations.

Events at Soldier Field and Northerly Island

In anticipation of increased crowds heading downtown this weekend and next week for events at Soldier Field and Northerly Island, additional service will be provided along the #130 Museum Campus and #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express routes.

In general, additional bus service will be provided for the following events beginning approximately 2.5 hours prior to the event beginning. Additional service also will be provided at the end of each of the following events:

  • Phish 3-Day Concert at Northerly Island (July 18, 19 and 20): Concerts are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. each day, with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.
  • Beyoncé and JAY Z Concert at Soldier Field (July 25): show time is 8 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m.
  • Liverpool FC vs. Olympiacos Soccer Match at Soldier Field (July 27): kickoff is 5 p.m. with gates opening at 3:30 p.m.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon

On Sunday, from 6 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m., 23 CTA bus routes will be detoured due to the closure of Balbo Drive between Michigan and Lake Shore Drive and Columbus Drive between Roosevelt and Balbo for the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. The following routes will be detoured to adjacent streets to maintain service during this time:  

  • #3 King Drive*
  • #4 Cottage Grove
  • #6 Jackson Park Express*
  • #10 Museum of Science & Industry*
  • #12 Roosevelt
  • #J14 Jeffery Jump*
  • #18 16th/18th
  • #20 Madison
  • #21 Cermak
  • #22 Clark
  • #29 State
  • #36 Broadway
  • #56 Milwaukee
  • #60 Blue Island/26th
  • #62 Archer
  • #65 Grand
  • #66 Chicago
  • #124 Navy Pier
  • #126 Jackson
  • #130 Museum Campus
  • #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express
  • #147 Outer Drive Express
  • #151 Sheridan

*NOTE: during this time, buses operating from South Lake Shore Drive will only travel north to Roosevelt before turning to begin southbound service. Customers who need to continue into downtown will need to alight at State/Roosevelt and transfer to either the Red, Orange or Green lines for the remainder of their trip.

Before and After the Race:
On Sunday, from approximately 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. and then again from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., buses operating along the #6, #10 and #J14 buses will be temporarily rerouted as follows:

Northbound buses will travel over their regular routes along Columbus to Roosevelt then will operate via Roosevelt to Michigan and then resume their regular routes past Balbo. Southbound buses will travel the reverse route.


Bus customers who use CTA fare media pay $2 to ride. The fare for rail customers and for customers who choose to pay cash on the bus is $2.25. Customers who use CTA fare media may transfer for a 25-cent fee within two hours of the start of their trip. A second transfer within that period is free. Transfers are not available for customers paying fares in cash.

New Ventra Fare Payment System

Effective July 1, the CTA fully transitioned to the new Ventra fare payment system. Customers are no longer able to purchase or use Transit Cards (i.e. magnetic stripe and Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus cards) on buses or at CTA rail stations.

Ventra makes it easier to travel on the CTA by allowing customers to pay-per-ride or use unlimited-ride passes from the same reusable Ventra transit farecard. Customers can add value or passes to their Ventra cards at rail station vending machines, online (including from mobile phones) or at more than 1,300 retailers (including drugstores and currency exchanges).

To learn more about CTA fare payment options, including use of contactless personal bank cards, or if you wish to add value or passes to your Ventra card in advance, visit ventrachicago.com.

*New cards cost $5 at machines, which can be refunded as transit value upon registration within 90 days online at ventrachicago.com or by phone at (877) NOW VENTRA (877) 669-8368.

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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