The Magic Returns! Santa Welcomes Back Riders to The Allstate CTA Holiday Train and Holiday Bus

November 22, 2021

For the first time in two years, customers can board the Allstate CTA Holiday Fleet, but with guidelines to keep everyone healthy for the holidays.


The wait is over! The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Santa are pleased to announce one of Chicago’s most beloved holiday traditions is back! Their Allstate CTA Holiday Train and Allstate CTA Holiday Bus will allow passengers to ride this year, after pandemic restrictions prevented riders from stepping aboard in 2020. The Allstate CTA Holiday Fleet will roll through neighborhoods, spreading cheer to CTA customers of all ages, but with some guidelines in place to make sure everyone remains healthy.


Santa and his new helper – Ella the Elf – remind riders of these important travel and safety rules:Santa's CTA helper Ella the Elf

  • Face masks are required – no matter your age or vaccination status. Everyone must wear one, even Santa, Ella and the other elves! Don’t get on the naughty list!
  • Be courteous, respectful and patient, while you wait and when you board.
  • When possible, please socially distance on platforms, at bus stops, and aboard the Allstate CTA Holiday Train and Allstate CTA Holiday Bus.
  • Further, to help keep everyone safe:
  • If the train or bus become too crowded, it may not stop to pick up additional riders. If this happens, Santa encourages you to come back on another day or at time when there may be less of a crowd.
  • There will be NO photos with Santa this year.
  • Please do NOT bring strollers on the train and bus, so there is more room for riders.

“After a two-year wait, we know there is a great deal of excitement and anticipation for the return of this Chicago tradition,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We want to remind everyone that all customers should celebrate safely and responsibly, including wearing masks when onboard the Allstate CTA Holiday Train and Bus.”


Holiday Train details:


The Allstate CTA Holiday Train begins service on Friday, November 26, the day after Thanksgiving, and goes dashing through the snow – and other weather. When the Allstate CTA Holiday Train pulls into stations throughout the CTA system, riders can expect the spectacle of a six-car train, decorated with holiday scenes, countless sparkling lights and festive LED signs. Santa and his reindeer will, once again, ride along outside the train, traveling from rail line to rail line to greet children and families.

NEW: Limited, Allstate CTA Holiday Train Loop-Shuttle:

As a reward for all the good boys and girls of Chicago, Santa and his elves have arranged for the Allstate CTA Holiday Train to make two special downtown runs - circling the Loop for several hours on Sunday, December 5 and December 12. These special trips will also offer picture-perfect scenes of two Chicago icons -- the decked-out train and its decorative exterior is against the backdrop of downtown skyscrapers.

Customers looking to catch a ride or picture can follow the Allstate CTA Holiday Train via CTA Train Tracker at: transitchicago.com/traintracker. Look for the candy cane icon to find the Holiday Train and when it might be getting close to your neighborhood station.

Holiday Bus details:


Beginning Tuesday, November 30, the Allstate CTA Holiday Bus is another great way to see Santa and his elves. On the exterior of the bus, customers will see “Ralphie the Reindeer.” Inside the bus, visitors will find a miniature village, lights and holiday-themed seating. Best of all, the bus includes Mr. Claus, in his sleigh, on a rooftop, ready to deliver toys!


Fans also can see where to hop aboard the Allstate CTA Holiday Bus by tracking its location at: transitchicago.com/holidaybustracker.


The Allstate CTA Holiday Train and Allstate CTA Holiday Bus will make all stops along their scheduled routes. Normal CTA fares apply. Schedules and other information – including the Bus Tracker Map - are available on the CTA website: transitchicago.com/holiday


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