Getting to the Chicago Air & Water Show

Public Transit options abound as thousands head to the lakefront this weekend

By Kye Martin
|  Friday, Aug 17, 2012  |  Updated 8:25 AM CDT
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Getting to the Chicago Air & Water Show

Jon Recana Photography

The jets delighting Air & Water Show spectators this weekend have the luxury of flying above Chicago traffic, but that's not the case for locals trying to get to this popular event.

One solution to avoid traffic headaches is taking public transportation to and from the 54th annual event, which 1.7 million people to the lakefront in 2011.

Metra plans to add additional trains during the show's hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Head to metrarail.com to check your specific line. Metra officials also want to remind riders that no bikes will be allowed on trains this weekend, due to the extra crush of passengers expected.

Coming into Union or Millennium Station? Consider taking the CTA. The #151 bus will act as a shuttle up to Oak Street Beach. (Those who are commuting by car also can take advantage of this, if they park in the Millennium Park garages).

A note for other CTA bus riders: Many of the Inner Lake Shore Drive routes have been changed to accommodate the extra pedestrian and vehicle traffic during the show, as well as the routes along LaSalle and Clark. Head to transitchicago.com for detailed route changes.

If the "L" is an option, the CTA's Red Line will get you closest to the lake. The Chicago/State stop is nearest to Oak Street Beach, and Clark/Division is another good option a bit further north. Most of the CTA's trains will offer later-than-normal service, and during peak hours, additional trains will be on the tracks.

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