Cubs fans pack Metra, CTA trains ahead of World Series parade

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Chicago Cubs fans started packing rail lines before the crack of dawn as they make their way downtown for the team’s World Series parade and rally Friday morning.

Transit officials have said they expect one of their busiest days on record, and as of 8:30 a.m., Metra UP-West, UP-Northwest and Rock Island District trains were already running at capacity, according to Metra. Delays of up to 31 minutes were also reported on the UP-North, Milwaukee District North, Milwaukee District West and North Central Service lines.

Outbound CTA Blue Line trains were operating with residual delays after a sick customer on a train at Harlem, according to the CTA. No other major issues were reported on CTA trains as of 8:30 a.m., but officials urge riders to allow for plenty of time with congestion.

The parade steps off from Wrigley Field at 10 a.m. to travel along Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and Ohio Street, before heading down Columbus Drive from Monroe to Balbo Avenue, according to the CTA. The noon rally takes place at Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park.

Fans and residents will be able to watch the celebration on Addison Street from Sheffield to Pine Grove, North Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Ohio Street and Columbus Drive from Monroe Street to Balbo Avenue.

Following the morning rush, CTA will provide extra service on rail lines through midday. Metra riders are encouraged to connect to CTA buses for the parade and rally.

Multiple CTA bus routes will be detoured in the downtown area due to street closures due to the event, the CTA said. Bikes will not be allowed on CTA trains from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Additionally, the North Parking Garage at Soldier Field has reduced its parking rate from $22 to $15 for up to 8 hours on Friday. The garage opens at 6 a.m.

Street closures around Wrigley Field at Clark Street from Grace Street to Newport Avenue and Addision Street from Racine to Lake Shore Drive started at 5 a.m. and will reopen by noon, according to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Downtown street closures and parking restrictions on Michigan Avenue between Lake Shore Drive and Wacker begin at 10 a.m. and reopen by 1 p.m.

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