Getting your Irish on this weekend? Metra could be your lucky charm to parade

Whether you're watching the Chicago River being dyed green downtown or waving to St. Patrick's Day floats in the suburbs, Metra officials advise taking public transit to a parade this weekend.

The commuter railroad will be adding trains with some express service on seven of its 11 lines Saturday.

Among the events planned Saturday along train lines are Chicago's 68th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, West Suburban Irish's 30th anniversary parade in Naperville, and Palatine's parade organized by Durty Nellie's.

Chicago organizers recommend arriving early and taking Metra or CTA, rather than driving.

On Sunday, the South Side Irish Parade will step off in the Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods, which have stops on the Rock Island Line.

"With our Weekend Passes and Family Fares, My Metra is the most affordable, smartest and safest choice for anyone planning to go to the parades," Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a statement.

Metra routes with extra service will include the BNSF, Union Pacific, Milwaukee District and Rock Island Lines. For information go to

Here's what paradegoers need to know:

• Metra's currently offering $7 Saturday or Sunday passes or a $10 Weekend Pass - all for unlimited rides

• Three children age 11 or younger can ride free with a fare-paying adult.

• Because crowds are expected, Metra workers will be checking tickets prior to boarding at most downtown stations.

• Passengers should consider buying tickets or passes ahead of time or use the Ventra app.

• Alcohol and bicycles are prohibited on all trains Saturday and on the Rock Island Line on Sunday.

• The railroad is asking riders not to bring backpacks or bottled water on trains Saturday.

• Boarding may be slower due to crowds.

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