Metra, CTA adding service for Chicago St. Patrick's Day parades this weekend

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Metra and CTA are adding service to get people to the Chicago St. Patrick's Day and South Side Irish parades this weekend.

Thousands are expected to attend the parades Saturday and Sunday, and organizers strongly recommend taking public transportation to the events. Due to the expected high ridership, Metra recommends purchasing tickets prior to boarding this weekend.

To accommodate the crowds, Metra is adding extra trains, including some express service, on seven of its 11 lines.

Riders can take Metra to Chicago's downtown stations Saturday for the official St. Patrick's Day Parade. Metra will offer extra service Sunday on its Rock Island Line to the 103rd Street/Beverly Hills and 11th Street/Morgan Park stations, which are within walking distance of the South Side Irish Parade route.

More information about extra service is available on

Metra's weekend pass, which costs $10, allows for unlimited rides on Saturday and Sunday.

Riders are asked not to bring backpacks or water bottles on trains all weekend, and alcohol will be banned on all trains Saturday and on all Rock Island trains Sunday.

CTA will provide more frequent service on the Red Line, and longer trains on the Brown, Blue, Green, Orange and Purple lines on Saturday to accommodate more riders.

Those who want to get closes to the Chicago River dyeing at 9 a.m. can take the train to Clark/Lake, State/Lake, and Red Line Lake and Grand stations. The nearest bus routes for the river dyeing are #3, #4, #6, #14, #20, #22, #29, #36, #56, #60, #62, #124, #146, #147, #151 and #157.

Those who want to get close to the St. Patrick's Day Parade beginning at 12 p.m. can take the train to the Red Line Lake Street Station, Blue Line Washington Station, Monroe and Jackson, Washington/Wabash, Adams/Wabash and Harold Washington Library.
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