CTA to Provide Extra Service for NCAA Tournament, United Center Events

March 24, 2016

Big Ten Conference will provide free rides on #19 United Center Express to and from NCAA tournament games

The Chicago Transit Authority is a convenient and affordable transit option for those traveling to events throughout Chicago this weekend. Extra service will be provided to accommodate those heading to upcoming events at the United Center, including the 2016 NCAA Men’s Midwest Regional games. In addition, customers taking the #19 United Center Express buses to and from the United Center for the NCAA games will ride free courtesy of the Big Ten Conference.

Separately, the CTA is also notifying customers of the upcoming temporary main entrance closure at the Merchandise Mart station over the weekend.

United Center Events

CTA will operate its #19 United Center Express for those attending the upcoming events at the United Center:

  • Friday, March 25 at 6:10 p.m. – NCAA Tournament game (Iowa St. vs. Virginia) Free rides courtesy of the Big Ten.
  • Friday, March 25 at 8:40 p.m. – NCAA Tournament game (Gonzaga vs. Syracuse) Free rides courtesy of the Big Ten.
  • Sunday, March 27 at TBD – NCAA Tournament game Free rides courtesy of the Big Ten.
  • Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. – Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks
  • Wednesday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m. – McDonald’s All American Games
  • Friday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. – Earth Wind & Fire and Chicago

Bus Service:

#19 United Center Express buses will leave from Michigan and Randolph beginning approximately two hours before the start of each event. After each event, #19 buses will operate for approximately one hour and await customers on the north side of the United Center eastbound on Madison near Gate 3.

#50 Damen service is also a good option for customers to access the United Center from the north and south, making connections to the Orange, Pink, Blue and Brown lines. Northbound and southbound #50 buses stop on Damen at Madison. Northbound buses will await customers on Damen at Madison after each event.

Rail Service:

CTA’s Ashland/Lake station served by Green and Pink lines is just a few blocks northeast of the United Center. Customers exiting at the station can transfer to #9 Ashland buses or simply walk a few blocks to the stadium. Customers taking the Blue Line can get to the United Center by exiting at the Illinois Medical District station and walking a few blocks north to the United Center.

Merchandise Mart Main Entrance Temporary Closure

The main entrance/exit to the Brown Line Merchandise Mart station, inside the Merchandise Mart building, will be temporarily closed for maintenance beginning 2 a.m. Saturday, March 26 until 4 a.m. Monday, March 28.

Customers can continue to access the station by using the Kinzie Street auxiliary entrances/exits, located at Kinzie and Wells streets just north of the Merchandise Mart building. Access to Ventra farecard vending machines inside the station will be unavailable at this time.

Access via the Kinzie Street auxiliary entrances/exits is by stairs only. For alternative ADA-accessible service, customers should board/exit Brown Line trains at Clark/Lake, Washington/Wells, or Chicago.

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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