Whether Running or Cheering on Your Favorite Marathoner, Let CTA Take You to the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

October 2, 2017


CTA selling first -ever commemorative, reloadable marathon-themed Ventra card

The Chicago Transit Authority is ready for the 40th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon, from special marathon-themed Ventra cards to getting you to the race on Sunday, Oct. 8.

The CTA will provide plenty of bus and rail service for convenient, affordable transportation to the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon at Grant Park on Sunday as well as the Abbott Health and Fitness Expo at McCormick Place on Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7, 2017, to pick up race packets, shop for running gear and more.

CTA is the best way to travel to the best viewing spots along the 26.2 miles of marathon course, with key locations listed at www.transitchicago.com (and below).

CTA is also offering for the first time special Chicago Marathon keepsake Ventra cards that come preloaded with a 3-day, 7-day pass, or $20 in transit value. The cards are reloadable and reusable just like a regular Ventra card.

CTA recommends allowing plenty of travel time and purchasing fares and unlimited-ride passes well ahead of time. More information about purchasing fares is below. CTA will have extra staff on race day and prior to the marathon at O’Hare and Midway International airports to assist customers with purchasing fares and providing travel information.

Additional Service

Abbott Health and Fitness Expo at McCormick Place - Friday 10/6 and Saturday 10/7
  • Rail: Green Line, exit at Cermak-McCormick Place station
  • Bus:#3 King Drive


2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon at Grant Park - Sunday 10/8
  • Rail: Red, Blue, Brown, Green, Orange and Purple Lines
  • Bus: #3 King Drive


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 17 Park & Ride Facilities and let our convenient and affordable service take you to Grant Park.


Viewing areas near CTA stations

CTA a great option to get you to prime marathon viewing areas:

  1. Grand (Red Line) Station – Miles #1, #3 and #12
  2. Monroe (Red Line) Station –Mile #2
  3. Chicago (Red Line) Station – Miles #3.5 and #11.5 
  4. Clark/Division (Red Line) Station – Miles #4 and #11
  5. Addison (Red Line) Station – Mile #7.75 
  6. Sedgwick (Brown Line) Station – Mile #10.25 
  7. UIC-Halsted (Blue Line) Station – Miles #13.5 and #16.5
  8. 18th (Pink Line) Station – Mile #19
  9. Halsted (Orange Line) Station – Mile #20.5
  10. Sox-35th and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT (Red/Green Line) Stations – Mile #23
  11. Cermak-McCormick Place (Green Line) Station – Mile #25
  12. 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.

For Commemorative, Reloadable Ventra Cards:

The keepsake Ventra cards are available for purchase preloaded with either a 3-day, 7-day pass, or $20 in transit value. These plastic, reusable cards cost an initial $5, which is returned as transit value once the card is registered within 90 days of purchase. This card can be reloaded with value or transit passes, like a regular Ventra card and can be purchased:

  • Online at www.ventranow.com/marathon (Order before Tues.10/3 for will-call)
  • Abbott Health & Fitness Expo (Fri. 10/6 and Sat. 10/7)
  • O’Hare Blue Line Terminal and Midway Orange Line Terminal (Thurs. 10/5 – Sat. 10/7)


For Commemorative single-ride, 1-day and 3-day disposable tickets:

Similar to past races, CTA is also offering Chicago Marathon-themed disposable paper tickets loaded with a single-ride or 1-day or 3-day passes. These tickets can be purchased:

  • Abbott Health & Fitness Expo (Fri. 10/6 and Sat. 10/7)
  • O’Hare Blue Line Terminal and Midway Orange Line Terminal (Thurs. 10/5 – Sat. 10/7)
  • Select Ventra vending machines beginning Monday, October 2 (only single-ride & 1-day pass tickets available). List of select rail stations here:
    • Pink Line: 18th 
    • Red Line: Addison, Chicago, Clark/Division, Grand, Roosevelt (Red & Elevated), Cermak-Chinatown, Sox-35th and 95th/Dan Ryan.
    • Blue Line: Rosemont, Cumberland and UIC-Halsted
    • Green Line: Cermak-McCormick Place, 35th-Bronzeville-IIT and Harlem-Lake


For Ventra card users:

Ventra card users are encouraged to add unlimited ride passes (1-day, 3-day, 7-day and 30-day) or transit value to their card via:

  • Ventra app
  • Ventra vending machines at rail stations
  • Online at www.ventrachicago.com
  • At more than 1,000 local retailers (ventrachicago.com or the Ventra app for locations).


For customers without a Ventra card:

Customers can also purchase from Ventra vending machines:

  • 1-day unlimited ride ticket ($10)
  • Single-ride ticket ($3) that includes up to two transfers in two hours.

Customers can also pay their fares with their personal contactless debit or credit cards.


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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