coronavirus illinois

What to Expect Returning to Work in Phase 3

Getting to work will look a bit different compared to pre-COVID-19 Chicago

Bicyclists and NYPD traffic officers are seen during the coronavirus pandemic on May 14 2020 in New York City.
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Chicago workers should expect a different commute as they return to work in likely early June.

In the Loop, commuters will see streets being cleaned, restaurants using outdoor seating methods and local retailers open at limited capacities, according to Michael Edwards, president and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance.

“Since Gov. Pritzker’s stay at home order, the Loop has consistently seen about an 80 percent drop in pedestrian activity compared to last year,” Edwards said. “We expect activity to gradually increase over the next few weeks and months."

According to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago is on track to move into phase 3 of Illinois' reopening plan in early June.

Chicago workers should expect changes in public transportation, cycling, walking, driving and other general precautionary measures, according to the Chicago Loop Alliance.

Public Transportation

CTA transportation has been encouraging commuters to only use its railways for essential trips; use a face covering; wash hands before and after travel; limit touching surfaces; and maintain six feet of distance between individuals.

For public buses, riders are expected to use the back door only for entry during the pandemic.

As the Metra brings in commuters from Chicago suburbs, all 11 of its lines are in service but using alternative schedules. New all-day passes will be available for a $10 purchase beginning June 1.

Cycling and Walking

For those using Divvy bikes to ride to work, the company said they are frequently cleaning and using gloves when handling all equipment.

Divvy recommends that their workers wear a cloth face covering and distribute them where possible. The company encourages riders to also wear a face covering on the bikes.

The Chicago Loop Alliance said that walking could be the safest and easiest option for those living in the city and working in its business districts.


When driving into the city, the Chicago Loop Alliance encourages using phone applications to find quick parking spots for touchless options.

Some parking garages throughout Chicago offer the option of taking a ticket and paying upon exit to avoid excessive contact. Other garages give the option of buying online and paying in advance or by the month.

Ride Sharing

Ride share services such as Uber or Lyft are using new guidelines for drivers and passengers to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For both Uber and Lyft, drivers and passengers are required to wear a face mask, keep vehicles clean, sanitize often and leave windows open when possible.

Both companies encourage drivers and passengers to cancel a trip if the other is not abiding by these measures. Riders are not permitted to ride in the front seat during this time.

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