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Getting to Lollapalooza 2018: CTA, Metra, Divvy, ride share options

A CTA train passes over Wabash Avenue in Chicago on July 2, 2018. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

If you’re attending Lollapalooza, we’ll echo the official advice: Take public transportation if you can.


The Chicago Transit Authority is adding service on all four days on Lollapalloza.

Either additional or longer trains will be running on all L rail routes except the Purple Line.

The following bus routes run near the festival:

The CTA Trip Planner is a useful tool for planning your transit journey, particularly if you need an accessible or step-free trip.

The CTA recommends purchasing fares ahead of time to avoid long lines at stations. Exact change is needed on buses if paying with cash; contactless bankcards and mobile wallets can also be used for bus fare. Visit the CTA’s website to learn more about ticketing, and check the website for service alerts and disruption announcements.

If you’re expecting to spend the entire day in Chicago, the CTA unlimited-rides pass (1-day, $10; 3-day, $20; 7-day, $28) loaded onto a Ventra Card can be a bargain, but you’ll have to buy a hard plastic Ventra card for $5 to load with credits. (The $5 will be reimbursed as a credit if you register your card online.)

The CTA also sells disposable 1-day paper Ventra tickets ($10) at all Ventra vending machines, and 3-day Ventra tickets ($20) at O’Hare and Midway vending machines, so pick one up on your way into town if you’re here for the weekend.

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Metra has announced it will add services and change schedules on most routes for Lollapalooza. The commuter rail operator is also strongly recommending that festival attendees travel after 9:30 a.m., when more space/seating is available.

The CTA’s added service includes bus routes that carry passengers from Metra stations to Grant Park. Signs boards will be placed to direct riders to the appropriate CTA bus routes, and buses on those routes will have signs in their windows indicating they will service Lollapalooza.

If your Metra train is arriving at Union Station, take the #126 Jackson. If your Metra train is arriving at the Ogilvie Transportation Center, take the #J14 Jeffery Jump.

A bicycle warning is in effect for the duration of Lollapalloza, which means Metra is advising customers it’s highly unlikely that bikes will be allowed on board; however, Metra is not prohibiting bicycles and will board them if space permits.

Metra is offering a special $15 two-day unlimited pass, valid for Thursday, August 2 and Friday, August 3. The commerative ticket features Lollapalooza-branded artwork and can be physically purchased at ticket windows or through the Ventra app. On the weekend, the $10 Metra weekend pass offers unlimited travel on all Metra lines Saturday and Sunday except the South Shore Line. Metra strongly recommends buying your ticket ahead of time through the Ventra app, or at the station if a ticket agent or machine is available.

Metra will prohibit alcohol on board after 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 2 and Friday, August 3, and all day on the weekend.

Bicycles and Divvy

It’s crazy to think about, but it’s true: Lollapalooza offers bike parking just south of the main entrance.

The city’s bike ride-share program, Divvy, is an excellent way to get around the city without having to walk or look after your own bike. Divvy will offer Valet Service at Michigan and Jackson from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for all four days of Lollapalooza, so you’re guaranteed to have space to dock there.

At stations without Valet Service, you’ll need to keep riding to another dock if the station is full, but you get an extra 15 minutes on your bike for free if you check in at the full station’s Divvy kiosk.

A single ride up to 30 minutes costs $3, while the 24-hour Explorer Pass offers an unlimited number of three-hour rides for $15 (so you can dock and re-rent your bike along the way). If you don’t dock and re-rent, every 30 minutes beyond your free time is $3. Rides and passes can be purchased through the Divvy app or from kiosks at each Divvy station. Check stations and bike availability on the Divvy website.

Taxis and rideshares

If you’re taking a taxi or rideshare service to and from Lollapalloza, the drop-off and pickup location is west of State Street, between Randolph Street and Roosevelt Road.

Credit cards are accepted on all taxis. In Chicago, taxis charge a base fare of $3.25, plus $2.25 each additional mile and $0.20 every 36 seconds; one additional passenger is $1, and each additional passenger after the first is another $0.50; taxis departing the airport cost an additional $4 for the Illinois Airport Departure Tax. A fare between Lollapalooza and O’Hare airport is usually around $40-50; between Lollapalooza and Midway airport, it’s usually $30-35. It’s customary to tip around 15-20% of the fare, and $1-2 per bag if the driver helps with luggage.

Uber is offering a discount code to first-time riders for Lollapalooza: LOLLA18.

Lyft is offering a discount code to all riders, first-time and existing, for Lollapalooza: LOLLA818. This code is good for 30% of the next three rides, up to $5 each discount, and rides must begin or end within a coverage area that roughly covers the Loop.


If you’re driving to the festival, parking is available near Grant Park at the four Millenium Garages, but no parking is available on the grounds. Festival organizers recommend booking a parking space in advance through the website. If you can’t find or reserve a spot, we recommend parking outside the Loop and taking public transportation or a Divvy to the festival.

If you’re driving past the festival, beginning on Monday, July 30, the following roads will be closed: Columbus Drive from Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road; Balbo Drive and Jackson Drive from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive; Congress Parkway (including the Congress Circle) from Michigan Avenue to Columbus Drive.


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