From Start to Finish (and All the Viewing Spots in between), the CTA is Your Ticket to the Annual Chicago Marathon

October 8, 2014

Additional bus and rail service to be provided; customers encouraged to purchase Ventra fares ahead of time; CTA to provide extra staff this week at O’Hare, Midway to assist travelers

For runners and spectators attending the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 12, the CTA is a convenient way to access all viewing points throughout the course from start to finish. The CTA is ready to accommodate the expected crowds with added bus and rail service along key routes and extra personnel staffing major bus and rail stops as well as at O’Hare and Midway airports days before the race to assist customers with purchasing fares and providing travel information.

The marathon begins at 7:20 a.m. for wheelchair participants and 7:30 a.m. for runners. All participants will start the race just north of Jackson on Columbus Drive with the course winding through multiple city neighborhoods. 

Because 34 bus routes in the vicinity of the marathon also will be affected with intermittent reroutes or delays related to lane closures, the CTA recommends that customers allow extra travel time.

FARES AND CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE

The CTA strongly recommends that customers load transit value or unlimited-ride passes to their Ventra fare cards at rail stations, online or at more than 1,300 local retailers ahead of time or purchase a 1-day unlimited ride Ventra ticket. This will help to decrease customers’ travel time and allow them to skip long lines at station vending machines, including on return trips. Customers can also use their personal contactless bank cards to board trains and buses. For more information on how to use Ventra, visit transitchicago.com/ventra.

Additional CTA personnel will be on duty at the O’Hare Blue Line Terminal, Midway Orange Line Terminal as well as several other stations along the Blue, Red, Green, Brown, Orange and Pink lines and at major bus stops to help customers.

To further assist travelers boarding at the O’Hare and Midway stations, the CTA will provide additional services at each location in the days leading up to Sunday’s marathon.

At O’Hare: A special sales table will be set-up near the fare vending machines for customers to purchase both single ride tickets (with two transfers) and 3-day unlimited ride tickets on a cash-only basis. An information table will also be staffed and provide customers with Marathon Spectator guides and CTA Downtown Transit Sightseeing maps. These additional service will be available during the following times:

  • Thursday, October 9 (1 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Friday, October 10 (1 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
  • Saturday, October 11 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

 

At Midway: A special sales table will be set-up near the fare vending machines for customers to purchase both single ride tickets (with two transfers) and 3-day unlimited ride tickets on a cash-only basis, during the following times:

  • Thursday, October 9 (1 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Friday, October 10 (1 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

 

RAIL SERVICE

  • Blue Line: Longer trains will operate beginning 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. More frequent service also will be provided with trains operating every 5-6 minutes beginning 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Red Line: Longer trains will operate beginning 5 a.m. until 4 p.m. More frequent service also will be provided, with trains operating every 6-8 minutes between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.; and every 4-5 minutes from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Brown Line: Service to downtown will begin earlier than normal, with the first train departing at 5 a.m. from Kimball to the Loop. Longer trains will operate beginning with the start of service until 4 p.m.
  • Orange Line: Longer trains will operate beginning 5:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Green Line: Longer trains will operate beginning 5:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Purple Line: Service will begin earlier than normal, with the first train departing at 5:30 a.m. from Linden to Howard where customers can transfer to the Red Line trains for service to downtown.

 

BUS SERVICE

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


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.

 

VIEWING AREAS NEAR CTA STATIONS

Viewing areas are designated near CTA rail stations at nine points along the marathon route for those interested in following the progress of the race.

First Viewing Area – Grand (Red Line) Station – Miles #1, #3 and #12. Board a Red Line train and exit at Grand Avenue.

Second Viewing Area – Monroe (Red Line) Station – Mile #2. Board a Red Line train and exit at Jackson Blvd.

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 Street.

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 Street. 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 accessible Halsted Street exit or the auxiliary Morgan Street exit. Walk two blocks north on Morgan Street to Jackson Street to view runners at Mile #16 in Greektown or use the accessible Halsted exit to view runners at Mile #16.5.

Seventh Viewing Area – 18th (Pink Line) Station – Mile #19. Board a Pink Line train and exit at 18th Street. Walk one block east to Ashland.

Eighth Viewing Area – Halsted (Orange Line) Station – Mile #20.5. Board an Orange Line train and exit at Halsted.

Ninth Viewing Area – Sox-35th and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT (Red/Green Line) Stations – Mile #23. Board a Green Line train and exit at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT using either the 34th Street or 35th Street exit. Board a Red Line train and exit at Sox-35th. Walk two blocks east on 35th Street to State Street.

Tenth Viewing Area – Roosevelt (Red/Green/Orange Lines) Station – Finish Line. Board a Red, Green or Orange line train and exit at Roosevelt. Walk east on Roosevelt Road toward the Museum Campus/Grant Park.

 

CTA Info On-the-Go

Plan your trip using the Google Transit Trip Planner. Be sure to also check out CTA on Facebook or Twitter (@CTA) for timely system travel updates and alerts. 

For details about all CTA service, call 312-836-7000 or visit the CTA website at transitchicago.com.

 

Park & Ride Facilities

To avoid traffic congestion, customers can combine the convenience of driving with the economical savings of public transit by using CTA Park & Ride facilities. Parking is available for approximately 6,000 cars at CTA’s 17 Park & Ride facilities, mainly at rail terminals, throughout the CTA system. 

CTA customers now have the convenience of paying for parking at 14 CTA Park & Ride lots using their mobile phones using the Parkmobile mobile phone app. To register and learn more, visit: http://us.parkmobile.com.

Park & Ride stations are listed on CTA’s system map and on the CTA’s website at transitchicago.com/parking/.

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