End of an era

The view of Wrigley Field from the former No. 154-Wrigley Field Express. (April 3, 2014)

Cubs fans will have one fewer option for getting to the ballpark this summer.

The CTA is no longer running a weekend and night shuttle from a North Side parking lot to Wrigley Field this year.

The Cubs decided not to subsidize the No. 154-Wrigley Express, which traveled between DeVry University and Wrigley for a $6 round-trip ticket that included parking, the CTA said.

A Cubs spokesman did not immediately respond for comment. About 50,000 rides were taken on the bus last year, up 20 percent from the year before.

The Cubs kick off their season at home Friday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Sox held their Opening Day Monday against the Minnesota Twins.

Game days can mean Red Line trains packed with fans. Sometimes riders end up waiting for subsequent trains because the train they want to get on is full. RedEye has a few tips for Red Line riders trying to make it to the parks to catch first pitch.

>> Go beyond the Red Line. For weekday night games, Loop-bound Purple Line Express trains stop at the Sheridan Red Line stop before stopping at Belmont. The Sheridan Red Line stop is a few blocks north of Wrigley Field and is typically less crowded than the Addison Red Line stop, which is just a few blocks east of Wrigley.

On the South Side, a few blocks away from U.S. Cellular Field, is the CTA 35th/Bronzeville/IIT stop, which is far less crowded than the Sox-35th Red Line stop. Also near the Cell is the 35th Street/"Lou" Jones/Bronzeville stop for the Metra, which travels between LaSalle Street and Joliet.

>> Try a bus. The Nos. 8-Halsted, 22-Clark and 152-Addison buses pick up and drop off near Wrigley.

For the Cell, riders can take the No. 1 Bronzeville/Union Station, 4-Cottage Grove, 24-Wenthworth, 29-State, 35-35th and 44-Wallace/Racine buses.

>> Experiment with routes and be creative. It may take a mix of a few different modes of transport -- bus, feet, bike -- to get to the parks quickly.