By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz
1:42 PM CDT, July 2, 2014
The CTA is adding extra service to events around the city this weekend in anticipation of more riders, some of whom will be navigating the system for the first time since the CTA completed its transition to Ventra on Tuesday.
The CTA is adding service for the Fourth of July fireworks display at Navy Pier, the Dave Matthews Band concert at Northerly Island and the Cruz Azul vs. Pumas exhibition soccer match at Soldier Field.
Since extra crowds are expected for these events, the CTA is recommending riders get their Ventra cards or load money on these cards before the weekend.
As of Tuesday, the CTA is no longer accepting disposable magnetic stripe cards. The agency is only accepting Ventra cards, certain personal bank cards, some phones and cash (on buses).
Also on the Fourth of July, the CTA is requiring riders to fold up strollers and refrain from bringing bikes onto the trains. Bikes are still allowed on buses.
The CTA doesn't have a stroller policy except that it encourages riders to fold strollers when buses become crowded. Bikes are not allowed on trains during rush hour and some holidays.
The Fourth of July weekend used to be one of the highest ridership days for the CTA until the city canceled the July 3 Grant Park fireworks extravaganza in 2010 to save money.
The CTA saw the most riders in the last 13 years on July 3, 2008, when there were more than 2 million entries on the system, according to CTA data.
This Fourth of July, the CTA will provide more frequent train service on the Red, Blue, Brown and Orange lines beginning in the early evening.
On Friday and Saturday, longer trains will operate on the Red, Blue, Green, Pink, Orange and Brown lines, beginning in the early evening through at least midnight.
Also, the CTA will increase bus service on routes serving Navy Pier, downtown Loop and lakefront areas.
Extra service also will be provided along the No. 130-Museum Campus and No. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express routes for the the Dave Matthews Band concert at Northerly Island this weekend and the Cruz Azul exhibition soccer match against the Pumas at Soldier Field at 2 p.m.
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