The Chicago Marathon is an annual road race in October that starts and ends in Grant Park near multiple CTA stations. Runners and spectators are encouraged to take transit due to road closures and heavy traffic in the area before, during and after the event.

Things to Know

  • The CTA red and blue lines operate 24 hours/day and other rail lines start service around 4:30 a.m.
  • Chicago Marathon entrances and security checkpoints open at 5:30 a.m.
  • If you’re visiting Chicago or new to CTA, you can purchase fare inside any station if needed, but consider purchasing a round-trip fare in advance to avoid lines
  • For those riding Metra, take advantage of the $8 weekend passes.

CTA and Metra Directions

View the 2016 Participant Guide to see which gate is recommended for your wave. Note that the Van Buren St Station on Metra’s Electric District and the South Shore line is near all gates and closest to Gate #2.

Jackson Drive and Michigan Avenue (Gate #1)

Use the Adams/Wabash Station on the brown, orange, pink, green and purple lines (note: this station is not handicap-accessible), Jackson Red or Jackson Blue stations for Gate #1.

Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue (Gate #2)

The Van Buren St Metra Station is conveniently next to this gate. Or use Harold Washington Library for brown, orange, pink and purple CTA lines or the Jackson stations.

Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue (Gates #3 and #4)

The Jackson stations and Harold Washington Library are also closest to gates 3 and 4. Harrison on the red line is another option.

Harrison Street and Michigan Avenue (Gate #5)

The Harrison CTA Station on the red line is closest to this gate, and a way to beat some of the crowds if you are traveling on the red line on race day.

More Information

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