The Crusader Newspaper Group

Let Metra take you to the Lights Festival

Extra train service and capacity added; adults ride for just $8 and kids ride free

Metra will add trains and seating capacity on Saturday, Nov. 19, for the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, which, for many, has become the official kickoff to the holiday season.

“Metra is the reliable choice for anyone wanting to come downtown to the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “Enjoy the fun and excitement the festival has to offer by riding the train and avoiding the hassles of driving and parking.”

Additional seating capacity will be added to many trains and extra service will be added on the BNSF and the Union Pacific Northwest and West lines. Schedules for the added service can be found online at

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival promises a full day of family-friendly activities, including concerts by nationally known artists. The day culminates with a magical tree-lighting parade down Michigan Avenue led by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and a spectacular fireworks show over the Chicago River.

For the biggest savings, take advantage of Metra’s $8 Weekend Pass, which offers unlimited rides on Metra all weekend. As always, with Family Fares, up to three kids 11 and under can ride free with each adult. Don’t forget you can buy your train ticket from your smartphone with the free Ventra App, available in the App Store or Google Play.

Getting To and From the Festival

The festival is located in downtown Chicago within walking distance from all five downtown Chicago train stations: Chicago Union Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center, LaSalle Street Station, Millennium Station and Van Buren Street Station.

If you don’t wish to walk from the train station, Metra’s rideshare partners, Uber and Lyft, offer another option to get to and from the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. If you’re new to rideshare programs, download the Uber app and enter promo code METRACHI for $10 off your first two rides (new users only). Customers who visit Lyft’s website and enter their phone number will also receive $10 off their first two rides. Both rideshare companies have programs that offer deeper discounts by sharing a ride. Visit their websites for details.

About Metra:

Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in northeastern Illinois. The agency provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 241 stations over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles and approximately 1,200 miles of track. Metra operates more than 700 weekday trains, providing about 300,000 passenger trips each weekday.

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