CTA to provide extra service to St. Patrick's Day, UC events

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - The CTA and Metra will provide extra service to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this weekend, though Metra is warning riders that alcohol will not be allowed on trains.

More frequent service and longer trains will be added to the morning and evening hours for the Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Brown and Orange lines for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Chicago River dyeing on Saturday morning, according to the CTA.

Bus service will also be modified, CTA said. The No. 6 Jackson Park, No. J14 Jeffery Jump, No. 124 Navy Pier, No. 126 Jackson, No. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express and No. 147 Outer Drive Express buses will be rerouted due to street closures for the parade.

Metra will offer extra service to accommodate those attending the downtown parade, and make extra stops on the Rock Island Line for those attending the South Side Irish Parade on Sunday.

Metra will provide extra trains and/or expand seating capacity on eight of its 11 lines Saturday to accommodate the large number of people expected to attend the downtown parade. Extra service schedules can be viewed at metrarail.com.

On Sunday, some trains on the Rock Island Line will make extra stops at 103rd and 111th streets for the South Side parade. Details are available on the website.

But the partying won’t start until riders get off the trains. Metra customers are being advised that alcoholic beverages will not be allowed on trains on Saturday, and on Rock Island Line trains Sunday, the agency said.

And because of expected high ridership,  Metra will likely not be able to accommodate bicycles.

Metra said customers should expect slower boarding at some stations due to increased passenger loads and crews taking extra time to ensure safety.

The CTA will also be operating the No. 19 United Center Express bus for three events at the United Center this weekend: The bull vs. Rockets game at 7 p.m. Friday; the Comedy Get Down World Tour at 8 p.m. Saturday; and Balckhawks vs. Wild game at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

For travel updates and alerts, check the CTA Facebook and Twitter pages.