Metra will use all available resources to add extra train service and capacity to try to accommodate Chicago Cubs fans attending the downtown parade and rally Friday, Nov. 4, to celebrate the team’s 2016 World Series Championship. However, trains are expected to reach capacity on all lines.
Metra is offering a one-day $5 unlimited ride ticket for the celebration and encouraging all passengers to purchase it in advance. The ticket is available for sale from ticket agents at all ticket windows, including all downtown and outlying stations, and through the Ventra App, available for download in the App Store and Google Play.
“Metra will use every locomotive and railcar we have on hand to try to manage the huge number of fans travelling downtown, but I want to be clear – trains will be crowded and operating off-schedule,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “If you plan to take Metra tomorrow, we advise that you listen closely to platform announcements for the latest train information.”
Click here for details about service and schedule changes on each line. There will be no changes on the Heritage Corridor and North Central Service. Schedules are subject to change, so customers should check the website before traveling. Construction activity on all Metra lines has been suspended tomorrow to minimize any impact on train operations.
Metra offers the following tips for customers and fans planning to take Metra downtown for the Cubs parade and rally:
- Be patient – Inbound and outbound trains will be delayed due to heavy passenger boarding. Some trains may be held and others may bypass stations based on passenger loads.
- Listen to platform announcements – Given the huge crowds expected, Metra will be making operational changes based on real-time field conditions. The best source of information about the status of trains is platform announcements.
- Telecommute, if you can – Regular Metra customers who take the train to and from work every day may wish to avoid the crowds and work from home if that is an option.
- Be prepared for crowds – Trains are expected to reach capacity and train stations will be busier than normal. At Union Station, Metra and Amtrak may implement the south concourse overcrowding plan, which routes passengers to a holding area near the south concourse and to the Great Hall.
- If you live close to downtown, leave early – Inbound trains are likely to reach capacity before they reach closer-in stations, so riders from those stations may want to consider leaving earlier. Once a train heading inbound is full, it may express into downtown Chicago.
- When heading home, leave early or stay late – Outbound trains may depart early if they reach capacity so riders are advised to allow adequate time to arrive at the station and board the train heading home. Consider extending the celebration by spending the day in the city and avoiding the peak crowds going home.
- Know before you go - Check our website for scheduling changes and service alerts or sign up for Twitter or email alerts.
“Tomorrow is expected to be the busiest day in Metra’s history,” Orseno added. “We ask all of our regular customers and the new customers we expect to see tomorrow to be patient and, most importantly, be safe.”
Due to these events, bikes and alcohol will not be permitted on any trains tomorrow. In addition, Quiet Car rules will be suspended. Metra also reminds customers not to park illegally at train stations. Most lots are managed by municipalities and customers should expect parking regulations to be strictly enforced.
Metra will also be adding security and increasing its police presence on trains and stations. Due to the large crowds expected for this event, Metra asks riders to limit the number and size of carry-on items.
Metra sold nearly 85,000 special tickets for the Chicago Blackhawks victory rallies in 2013 and 2015, representing about 170,000 rides. In total, Metra carried about 425,000 passengers on the day of the 2013 rally, the second-highest daily total in Metra’s history, and 421,400 in 2015, the third-highest total.