Planes, Trains and Boats: CTA Will Take You to New Heights as the Chicago Air & Water Show Soars Through Town

August 17, 2023

Let CTA take you to downtown fireworks, sporting events, concerts and the Chicago Air and Water Show this weekend at North Avenue Beach and Surrounding Points, but keep in mind the construction work changes on the Blue Line Forest Park Branch

While you may not have a boat or get a ticket to ride with the Air Force Thunderbirds, you can still feel like you’re part of the action this weekend by getting on board the CTA -- the fastest and most affordable way to travel to and from the Air and Water Show as well as all the other summer happenings across the city. Customers can save money with an unlimited rides pass, either the 1-Day ($5) – far more economical and convenient than the price of gas and parking - or the 3-Day ($15) pass – a real budget-saving move.

Important Note for Blue Line Riders: If you’re staying late at an event Sunday, keep in mind that there will be service changes associated with the Blue Line’s Forest Park Branch Rebuild project. Starting at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Blue Line trains will resume serving the Clinton and UIC-Halsted stations. Blue Line service will operate in two sections, between O’Hare and UIC-Halsted and between Forest Park and Illinois Medical District (IMD). See below for additional details or read all about the project at transitchicago.com/fprebuild/

Service for Upcoming Events

Chicago Air and Water Show

North Avenue Beach – Sat. 8/19 and Sun. 8/20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Rail: The Red and Brown lines provide the closest access to the event area. Customers can exit at the North/Clybourn station on the Red Line and the Sedgwick station for the Brown Line. Customers can also take the Blue Line and exit at the Damen station to connect with the #72 North Avenue route.


  • Bus: The #72 North Avenue and the #151 Sheridan routes provide service to the event.

Multiple bus routes in the area will be rerouted. Check out the alerts on our website for more information: https://www.transitchicago.com/alerts/

United Center

Get to and from the following concert via the #20 Madison and #50 Damen bus routes. Customers can also take the #19 United Center Express route post event:

  • Chance the Rapper – Sat. 8/19 at 8 p.m.

Navy Pier Fireworks

Service on the #29 State, #66 Chicago and #124 Navy Pier routes.

  • Sat. 8/19 at 10 p.m.
  • Wed. 8/23 at 9 p.m. - #65 Grand route also available for this evening’s event.

Soldier Field

Service on the #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express route

  • Orlando Fire SC vs. Chicago Fire FC  – Sun. 8/20 at 7:30 p.m.

Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

Service on the #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express route

  • Goo Goo Dolls – Tue. 8/22 at 7 p.m.
  • 5 Seconds of Summer – Wed. 8/23 at 7 p.m.

Wrigley Field

  • Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago Cubs – Fri. 8/18, Sat. 8/19 and Sun. 8/20 at 1:20 p.m.


  • Red Line: The Addison station is located just a half block east of Wrigley Field.
  • Purple Line: During weeknight games, Loop-bound Purple Line Express trains will stop at Sheridan, where riders can either walk three blocks south on Sheridan/Sheffield to the ballpark or transfer to a 95th/Dan Ryan-bound Red Line train and exit at Addison.
  • Yellow Line: Take the Yellow Line and transfer at Howard to the Red Line; continue to Addison station. To accommodate fans returning home, the Yellow Line will run for an hour later from Howard – until midnight – for all night games at Wrigley Field.
  • #152 Addison:  The #152 route will provide additional service on Cubs game days, with more frequent service two hours before and one hour after all games.
  • #80 Irving Park: The #80 route will provide additional service before the games, timed to meet the inbound UP-NW Metra trains at Irving Park.
  • Adjacent bus routes: Several CTA bus routes serve the area, including:
  • #8 Halsted
  • #22 Clark
  • #36 Broadway
  • #151 Sheridan

Guaranteed Rate Field

  • Seattle Mariners vs. White Sox – Mon. 8/21 and Tue. 8/22 at 7:10 p.m., Wed. 8/23 at 1:10 p.m.


  • Red Line: Guaranteed Rate Field is just one block west of the Sox-35th station.
  • Green Line: The 35th-Bronzeville-IIT station is just three blocks east of the ballpark.
  • CTA’s Park & Ride lots are also a good choice to access CTA train service. For more information, visit transitchicago.com/parking.
  • Adjacent bus routes: Several CTA bus routes serve the ballpark area, including:
    • #1 Bronzeville/Union Station (during Monday – Friday rush periods only)
    • #4 Cottage Grove
    • #24 Wentworth
    • #29 State
    • #31 31st (which runs Monday – Friday to 7 p.m.)
    • #35 35th (which connects with Orange and Green lines)
    • #39 Pershing (which connects with Orange and Green lines)
    • #44 Wallace/Racine

Service to the Lakefront

Throughout the summer, the following bus routes operate directly to the lakefront and its beaches: #35 31st/35th, #63 63rd *, #72 North and #78 Montrose.

*Note: Due to CDOT construction at the beach parking lot, the CTA service stop for customers heading to the 63rd Street Beach will be at a crosswalk on the south side of Hayes Drive and Lakeshore Drive.

Forest Park Branch Rebuild Phase 1: Part B

  • Starting at 10 p.m. on Sun. 8/20 – October, Blue Line service will resume serving the Clinton and UIC-Halsted stations and operate in two sections, between O’Hare and UIC-Halsted and between Forest Park and Illinois Medical District (IMD), only. More details
  • There will be no rail service between the UIC-Halsted and IMD stations during the Part B project work.
  • Bus shuttles will operate in both directions between UIC and IMD, stopping near Racine.
  • The bus shuttle will operate every 5-15 minutes on weekdays and 10-15 minutes on weekends.
  • Service changes are due to major track replacement and station work.

Know before you go!

The CTA strongly recommends customers allow extra travel time and plan ahead by downloading the Ventra app, which allows you to manage your Ventra account, and also features a new trip planning tool powered by Google Maps. 

Fare payment options: We offer a variety of convenient payment options—from smart devices to contactless credit cards. Learn more about payment options and ways you can maximize your dollars with our lower-priced unlimited-ride passes by visiting: transitchicago.com/fares/

Service updates: Stay in the loop on CTA service changes and alerts by subscribing to CTA Updates. For details about all CTA service, call 312-836-7000 or visit the CTA website at transitchicago.com.

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