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Transit agencies readying for massive crowds expected at Obama rally
By Marni Pyke | Daily Herald Staff

The site of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's election night rally at Grant Park in Chicago.

 

Associated Press

Workers at the Obama rally site in Grant Park.

 

Associated Press

Security officials are seen at the site of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's election night rally.

 

Associated Press

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Published: 11/3/2008 11:30 AM | Updated: 11/3/2008 5:17 PM

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So you've got election fever and the only prescription is to go downtown tonight and take part in presidential candidate Barack Obama's Grant Park rally?

Here's the lowdown on the event and what transit options are available.

Although the permit for the rally estimates 65,000 people, close to a million are expected to gather inside and outside Grant Park. If you have tickets to the rally, don't forget they are nontransferable and identification is required to enter. Both the CTA and Metra are expanding service to levels used during July 4th events to accommodate the thousands of political revelers.

Metra

• Metra is providing additional cars on its late-night trains for riders heading home to the suburbs between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

• Metra will run extra trains between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. today for workers heading home early. The agency will also offer extra trains into the city for people heading to the rally.

• Metra will provide extra security at stations and on late-night trains. The agency is banning all alcohol and glass containers on trains.

• Passengers on Metra can take advantage of a $5 round-trip Election Night fare, which can be purchased on trains. Ticket offices downtown will be open late.

• The additional service is available on all Metra routes except the Heritage Corridor, SouthWest Service and North Central lines.

• For more details on Metra schedules, contact metrarail.com or call (312) 322-6777.

CTA

• The Chicago Transit Authority is advising customers who plan to use transit tonight to purchase farecards in advance. The agency is expanding its service and hours to 2 a.m. Wednesday for downtown buses and trains. In addition, the Purple and Yellow lines, which travel to the north suburbs, will operate from the Howard stop until 2 a.m.

• Bikes will be off-limits on the CTA after 4 p.m.

• For CTA information, including details about Park and Ride facilities, contact transitchicago.com or call 836-7000 from any area code.

Daily Herald staff and wire services contributed to this report.