How to get to - and get around - the Chicago Marathon via the CTA

It's all about using the CTA's rail lines - and knowing which bus routes will be affected by Sunday's Chicago Bank of America Marathon.

On six rail lines, longer trains will operate for varied times. Details:

Blue Line: Longer trains will operate beginning 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. More frequent service also will be provided with trains operating every 5-6 minutes beginning 8:30 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m.

Red Line: Longer trains will operate beginning 5 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m. More frequent service also will be provided, with trains operating every 6-8 minutes between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.; and every 5-6 minutes from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Brown Line: Longer trains will operate beginning with the start of service until 4 p.m. More frequent service also will be provided with trains operating every 10 minutes from 6 a.m. until
3 p.m.

Orange Line: Longer trains will operate beginning 5:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Green Line: Longer trains will operate beginning 5:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Purple Line: Service will begin earlier than normal, with the first train departing at 5:30 a.m. from Linden to Howard where customers can transfer to the Red Line trains for service to downtown.

Bus service will be affected intermittently along the course of the race. See the details on the CTA website.

On Friday and Saturday, the CTA will operate increased service on the #3 King Drive route for the 2015 Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Extra service will begin each day at approximately 7:40 a.m. until approximately 10 p.m. Friday night and 8 p.m. Saturday night.

For the 2015 Chicago Marathon, the CTA will operate the Yellow Line Shuttle earlier, with the first trip departing Dempster-Skokie at 5:40 am. The free shuttle buses serve all Yellow Line rail stations (Dempster-Skokie, Oakton-Skokie and Howard).

And be sure to top off your Ventra card ahead of time.

Customers can load ahead of time transit value or unlimited ride passes (1-day, 3-day, 7-day and 30-day) to their Ventra farecards at rail stations, online or at nearly 1,300 local retailers (locations available at ventrachicago.com). Other ways to pay fares including purchase from CTA vending machines 1-day unlimited ride tickets ($10) or single-ride tickets ($3) that include up to two transfers in two hours. Customers can also pay their fares with their personal contactless debit or credit cards.

The CTA will also have a booth at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday at McCormick Place to provide travel information and transit tips. Cash-only ride tickets will also be available at the CTA booth.

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