The Crusader Newspaper Group

From Start to Finish, CTA is the Best Way to Experience the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

CTA providing extra race-day service, spectating guide and souvenir Ventra ticket

The Chicago Transit Authority will provide additional service for the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott Health and Fitness Expo this weekend. Full travel details are available at CTA recommends allowing plenty of travel time, as well as purchasing fares and unlimited-ride passes well before the race. More information about purchasing fares is below.

Additional Service
Abbott Health and Fitness Expo at McCormick Place – Friday 10/11 and Saturday 10/12

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

2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon at Grant Park – Sunday 10/13

  • Rail: Longer trains on Brown, Green, Orange and Blue lines. More frequent service on the Red, Blue, Brown and Green lines before and/or after the event. Earlier service on the Purple Line
  • Bus: Extra service on #3 King Drive

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 – Mile #13.5
  9. UIC-Halsted (Blue Line) Station – Miles #14.25 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 single-ride, 1-day or 3-day passes, in select station Ventra Vending Machines.

These tickets can be purchased, while supplies last, at the following stations:

  • Pink Line: 18th
  • Red Line: Addison, Cermak-Chinatown, Chicago, Clark/Division, Grand, Monroe, Roosevelt (Red & Elevated), Sheridan, Sox-35th and 95th/Dan Ryan
  • Blue Line: O’Hare (available Thurs. 10/10), Rosemont, Cumberland and UIC-Halsted
  • Green Line: Cermak-McCormick Place, Harlem-Lake and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT
  • Brown Line: Sedgwick and Washington/Wells (Elevated)
  • Orange Line: Midway

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:

For customers without a Ventra card:
Disposable Tickets
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. At O’Hare, single-ride tickets cost $5 each.

Contactless Pay-as-you-go (using Apple Pay, Google Pay or a contactless wave bankcard)
If you have a phone with contactless payment apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay set up, or any bankcard with the contactless payment symbol, you don’t need to get a card or ticket! Skip the machines and pay a Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) fare directly at the turnstile.

Note that the PAYG fare is $2.50 per full fare ride on bus or train (except at O’Hare), plus $0.25 for up to two transfers within two hours (paid upon first transfer). Free transfers are also available where designated, and you can use these options to pay for up to 7 people (including yourself) traveling together. Note you may see a temporary pre-authorization hold of $5 in in your app/account when using this option, but you’ll only be charged the correct fare once we reconcile the fare used with your bank.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.

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

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