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Metra adds weekend express service for Chicago Auto Show

(January 29, 2020) - 

Metra is making it easier than ever for those living in Chicago’s south suburbs to attend the Chicago Auto Show by offering direct service between Blue Island and McCormick Place Convention Center on weekends during the show. The 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show runs from Saturday, Feb. 8 through Monday, Feb. 17.

A Metra Electric Line station is conveniently located inside McCormick Place, providing direct access to the Auto Show. The hourly Metra Electric Line express service will connect with extra weekend trains (Feb. 8-9 and Feb. 15-16) running between the Joliet and Blue Island-Vermont Street station on the Rock Island Line. Riders will be able to transfer at Blue Island-Vermont Street to a Metra Electric Line train that will take them directly to McCormick Place.

The modified weekend schedules for the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines during the auto show can be found here.

Customers can also drive to the Blue Island-Vermont Street Station, where parking is plentiful. As a further incentive to ride Metra to the auto show, parking fees will be waived at Blue Island during the show’s two weekends. On these weekends, riders will be able to purchase a special $5 roundtrip ticket for special express trains on the Metra Electric Line. The ticket, which is less than half the price of a roundtrip ticket from Blue Island, will only be sold on board the shuttle trains.

When it’s time to leave the show, Rock Island riders can board extra Metra Electric Line trains that will run express every hour from McCormick Place to Blue Island, where they can transfer back to an outbound Rock Island train making all stops from Blue Island – Vermont Street to Joliet.

Weekend attendees can save money on Metra’s other lines by taking advantage of Metra’s unlimited ride $10 Weekend Pass. Plus, with Metra’s Family Fares, up to three children 11 and under can ride free with an adult. The Family Fares discount will also apply to the $5 dollar tickets for the Metra Electric weekend express trains from Blue Island. And remember, you can also buy tickets right from your smartphone with the Ventra App. Download it from the App Store or Google Play.

Throughout the Auto Show, most weekday Metra Electric Line trains, including those not normally scheduled to stop at McCormick Place, will make flag stops at the station, which means trains will stop there only if passengers are visible on the platform or riders on the train tell the conductor they want to get off there. Those traveling from or living downtown can make the quick trip from Millennium and Van Buren Street stations to McCormick Place. For a detailed schedule, please click here.

Getting to the show from Metra’s other downtown stations is easy too, thanks to our friends at the CTA. Special Auto Show buses will operate between Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station and McCormick Place every 15 to 20 minutes on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 10:20 p.m., with the exception of Monday, Feb. 17 when the last bus will depart McCormick Place at 8:20 p.m. On Saturdays, buses will depart every 10 to 20 minutes from 9 a.m. to 10:20 p.m. and every 12 to 20 minutes on Sundays from 9 a.m. until 10:20 p.m.

Look for buses with “McCormick PL” in their destination signs at the following locations:
• Ogilvie Transportation Center: on Clinton Street at Madison Street.
• Chicago Union Station: from the corner of Clinton and Quincy streets or at Jackson Boulevard and the Chicago River.

When it’s time to leave the show, you can board buses for a return trip to your train station at Gate #26 beneath McCormick Place. Just look for buses with the signs: Metra Stations/Via Downtown.

 

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