Running, Cheering or Volunteering, CTA is the Affordable, Convenient Choice for the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

October 5, 2021

CTA providing extra race-day bus and rail service

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will provide additional service for the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott Health and Fitness Expo this weekend.

Marathoners can now spend even less by taking advantage of CTA’s “More Fun Less Fare” promotional discount on three of its most popular unlimited-ride passes: 

  • 1-day/24-hour pass: $5 (down from $10)
  • 3-day/72-hour pass: $15 (down from $20)
  • 7-day pass: $20 (down from $28)

Full travel details are available at transitchicago.com/alerts. CTA recommends allowing plenty of travel time, as well as purchasing fares and unlimited-ride passes well before the race.

Additional Service
Abbott Health and Fitness Expo at McCormick Place - Friday 10/8 and Saturday 10/9
Arrive just steps from the Health and Fitness Expo by exiting at the Cermak-McCormick Place station on the Green Line.

  • Rail: Green Line will operate longer trains. Exit at Cermak-McCormick Place station
  • Bus: Extra service on #3 King Drive

Bank of America Chicago Marathon at Grant Park - Sunday 10/10

  • Rail: More frequent service on the Red, Blue, Brown and Green lines and earlier service on the Purple Line.

Viewing areas near CTA stations
CTA is a great option to get you to prime marathon viewing areas:

  1. Grand (Red Line) Station – Miles #1, #3 and #12.5
  2. Monroe (Red Line) Station –Mile #2
  3. Chicago (Red Line) Station – Miles #3.5 and #12.25 
  4. Clark/Division (Red Line) Station – Miles #4 and #12
  5. Sheridan (Red Line) Station – Mile #8
  6. Addison (Red Line) Station – Mile #8.5  
  7. Sedgwick (Brown Line) Station – Mile #11 
  8. Washington/Wells (Brown/Pink/Orange lines) Elevated Station – Miles #13.5
  9. UIC-Halsted (Blue Line) Station – Miles #14 and #17
  10. 18th (Pink Line) Station – Mile #19.25
  11. Cermak-Chinatown (Red Line) Station – Miles #21.5
  12. Sox-35th and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT (Red/Green Line) Stations – Mile #23 and 23.25
  13. Cermak-McCormick Place (Green Line) Station – Mile #25
  14. Roosevelt (Red/Green/Orange Lines) Station – Finish Line

Buy unlimited ride passes and fares in advance
As with all large-scale events, CTA advises customers to purchase their fares and load their Ventra cards well in advance to avoid long lines and boarding delays the day of the event.

To Purchase Souvenir, Disposable Tickets:
Similar to past races, CTA is also offering Chicago Marathon-themed disposable paper tickets - loaded with a single-ride or 1-day passes - in select station Ventra Vending Machines. 
These tickets can be purchased beginning Tuesday, October 5 (while supplies last) at the following stations:

  • Pink Line: 18thMarathon_LUT_2021
  • Red Line: Addison, Cermak-Chinatown, Grand and Sox-35th
  • Blue Line: O’Hare (3-day passes also available at O’Hare)
  • Green Line: Cermak-McCormick Place
  • Brown Line: Sedgwick
  • Orange Line: Midway (3-day passes also available at Midway)

For more information about fares, re-loading or purchasing a Ventra card, purchasing disposable tickets, purchasing unlimited ride passes (1-day, 3-day and 7-day) and using pay-as-you-go options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or a contactless wave bankcard, visit: www.transitchicago.com/fares/

Street Closures
There will be a number of street closures during the weekend related to the marathon. Please note that due to street closures, reroutes and traffic congestion, estimated arrival times for buses may not be accurately reflected on CTA Bus Tracker.

Driving? Use CTA Park & Ride
If you are traveling to the marathon, leave your vehicle at one of our 18 Park & Ride Facilities and let our convenient and affordable service take you to Grant Park.

Know before you go!
Customers are strongly encouraged to plan ahead using the Google Transit Trip Planner, allowing extra travel time, and purchasing fares in advance.

Properly worn masks are required on the CTA at all times – regardless of vaccination status. Free masks are available on every bus and at every rail station.

Stay in the Loop on CTA service and follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@CTA) for system travel updates and alerts.

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System status snapshot
‘L’ route status
Red Line
Normal Service
Blue Line
Normal Service
Brown Line
Normal Service
Orange Line
Normal Service
Pink Line
Normal Service
Yellow Line
Normal Service
Bus routes w/alerts
Elevator alerts