Chicago-area revelers will have several ways to get home safely on New Year's Eve, but whether you're driving or taking public transit, there are some things to note.
Beginning at 10 p.m. on Dec. 31 and ending at 4 a.m. on Jan. 1, free rides will be offered on all CTA buses and trains with the help of a sponsorship from Miller Lite. Pace will provide free bus and ADA Paratransit rides during the same time period.
“It is my sincere hope the availability of safe, free rides on the CTA this New Year's Eve will mean a healthy, happy holiday for all Chicagoans,” CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. said in a statement.
Riders will not need to touch their Ventra cards to turnstiles at CTA train stations or on city buses.
In addition, Metra will offer free rides on its trains for the first time in the agency’s history. The offer applies to all train rides beginning at 6 p.m. New Year's Eve and concluding early Wednesday morning, according to the agency.
The last departing Metra trains will be held to accommodate those attending New Year’s Eve festivities, with trains leaving between 1:10 a.m. and 1:25 a.m., depending on the line travelers are using.
Pace offers limited bus service between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., the agency said, but "ADA Paratransit Service operates 24/7 in the City of Chicago."
Several roads and bridges will be closed to all traffic as early as 11 p.m. Tuesday night, and are expected to remain closed until 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The following roads and bridges will be affected:
- Upper Wacker Drive between Lake Street and Lake Shore Drive
- Franklin/Orleans Street Bridge
- Wells Street Bridge
- LaSalle Street Bridge
- Clark Street Bridge
- Dearborn Street Bridge
- State Street Bridge
- Wabash Street Bridge
- Michigan Avenue Bridge
- Columbus Drive Bridge
In addition, sidewalks and other closures will also take effect throughout the evening Tuesday.
- Beginning at 4:00 p.m., sidewalks will close to pedestrians on one side of each of the following bridges: Franklin/Orleans Street Bridge (west sidewalk), LaSalle Street Bridge (east sidewalk), Clark Street Bridge (east sidewalk), Dearborn Street Bridge (east sidewalk), and State Street Bridge (east sidewalk).
- At 10 p.m., the Chicago Riverwalk will close for the evening. No viewing is allowed from the riverwalk.
- Beginning at 11 p.m., anticipate complete closures of the Franklin/Orleans Street, LaSalle Street, Clark Street, Dearborn Street, and State Street bridges to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
- Also, at 11 p.m., eastbound Upper Wacker Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic from Lake Street to Stetson Avenue. Pedestrian traffic and viewing from Upper Wacker Drive will be permitted.
- Streets and bridges are expected to reopen to vehicular traffic approximately 10 minutes after the fireworks display or when deemed safe to do so. All bridges and streets are anticipated to re-open by 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday.