The CTA is stepping up rail service for Sunday’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon, though some bus lines will see intermittent reroutes or delays as runners pass by.
More than 45,000 registered runners from all 50 states and 115 countries will embark on the course beginning in Grant Park and winding through 29 Chicago neighborhoods. Roughly 1.7 million spectators are expected to line the course, organizers say.
Longer trains will operate on almost all rail lines during marathon hours to accommodate the crowds, said the transit agency. Still, the CTA recommends all runners and spectators buy round-trip farecards in advance to cut down on lines later in the day.
Trains on the Red Line -- which already operates 24 hours a day -- will operate more frequently Sunday, while several other lines will begin operating earlier than normal. The first Brown Line train headed to downtown departs at 5 a.m., while inbound Green and Purple line service starts at 5:30 a.m., the agency said.
Spectators and runners can also use increased bus service on the No. 3 King Drive route, running every 15 minutes between McCormick Place and Chicago and Mies van der Rohe Way in the Gold Coast from 5:30 a.m. to 8:05 a.m.
Eleven rail stations designated as viewing stations are the best places on the CTA to catch a glimpse of the runners, the transit agency said. Those include:
• Red Line Grand, Monroe, Chicago, Addison and Sox/35th Red Line stations.
• Brown Line Sedgwick station,
• Blue Line UIC-Halsted station,
• Pink Line 18th Street station,
• Orange Line Halsted station,
• Green Line 35th-Bronzeville station,
• And the Roosevelt Red/Green/Orange Line station near the finish line in Grant Park
Three-dozen bus routes along the racecourse could see intermittent delays or reroutes during the marathon, according to the CTA, which advises customers to allow extra travel time.
CTA personnel will be present to help customers and provide travel information at select rail stations and major bus stops throughout the day.