The Chicago Transit Authority's popular holiday train and bus will still run this year, but there will be one major difference: riders can't get on them.
There will still be a special train and bus featuring Santa and his elves, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the transit agency said this year's routes will be "socially distant."
“Each year, customers of all ages look forward to the arrival of the CTA Holiday Train and Bus,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said in a statement. “Because our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees, we wanted to find a way to spread holiday cheer across the city, but do so responsibly. Though customers won’t be able to get on board, we know that seeing the CTA Holiday Train and Bus in neighborhoods throughout the city will bring much-needed smiles, joy and hope for everyone.”
This year's holiday train is set to begin on Nov. 27 and appear on all train lines. It will feature six cars decorated with holiday scenes, thousands of sparkling lights and bright signs. Santa and his reindeer will ride outside of the train.
The holiday bus is scheduled to begin on Dec. 1, bringing "Ralphie the Reindeer" and his bright green nose to several city neighborhoods. The bus will also feature hundreds of twinkling lights and Santa will appear through the roof.
Here's a look at the full schedule:
- Green Line: November 27-28, December 1
- Brown Line: December 2-5
- Orange Line: December 2-5
- Red Line: December 8, 10 and 12
- Purple Line: December 9, 11 and 12
- Pink Line: December 15, 16 and 19
- Blue Line: December 17-19
- Yellow Line: December 21
- December 1-2: #56 Milwaukee
- December 3: #91 Austin/#92 Foster
- December 4: #22 Clark
- December 5: #22 Clark/#97 Skokie
- December 8-9: #66 Chicago
- December 10: #126 Jackson
- December 11-12: #12 Roosevelt
- December 15-16: #62 Archer
- December 17: #49 Western/#X49 Western Express
- December 18: #79 79th
- December 19: #3 King Drive
- December 22: #28 Stony Island
- December 23: #29 State
- December 24: #J14 Jeffery Jump