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redeyechicago.com

Last chance for Sox Red Line stop for games

By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz

RedEye

12:56 PM CDT, May 9, 2013

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White Sox fans, this weekend is the last chance you'll have to use the Sox-35th Red Line station for Sox games this season.

Starting May 19, the CTA will close the Red Line between Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street in a five-month project to overhaul track.

Red Line trains will run on Green Line tracks to 63rd Street. Sox fans can use the 35th/Bronzeville/IIT station near U.S. Cellular Field.

A Sox spokesman estimated nearly 20 percent of fans took public transit to the games last year.

Here are some tips for getting to U.S. Cellular Field without the Sox Red Line stop:

>> Allow extra time if you plan to take the Green Line. The 35th Green Line stop averaged 2,308 entries on weekdays, 1,393 entries on Saturdays and 1,018 entries on Sundays between May and September, the CTA said.

The agency says these numbers could double on the weekdays and nearly triple on Sundays. On weekdays, Sox fans will mingle with commuters who have been displaced from the Red Line.

Also budget extra time walking to the game since the Green Line station is a few blocks east of the Sox Red Line stop.

>> Try Metra. The Metra station on 35th Street is in between the Green and Red Line stations. The station is on the Rock Island line. It doesn't run as frequently as the CTA and it costs more than a CTA ride, but it may be more convenient for some riders.

>> Use buses. A few buses run past U.S. Cellular Field, and they may be less crowded than the trains. The buses that stop near the field are: the No. 35-31st/35th Street, No. 39-Pershing, No. 29-State, No. 24-Wentworth.

>> If you're coming from the South Side, rely on shuttles. Express shuttles will pick up riders from the 69th, 79th, 87th and 95th Red Line stops and take them to the Garfield Green Line stop (free entry) so they can connect to the 35th Green Line stop.

A trip planner is available here.

The Sox face the Los Angeles Angels this weekend. The first game after the shutdown will be May 20, when the Sox face the Red Sox. The Sox play the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field on May 27 and 28.