An insider's guide to getting to Wrigley Field for the NLDS
Predicting the odds of the Cubs sweeping the Washington Nationals? Not in our power.
But here's a sure bet -- our guide will help you arrive at Wrigley Field in time for the first pitch of the first home game in the National League division playoffs Monday.
• Don't drive from the suburbs. Not only are the Cubs in town but the Chicago Bears battle the Minnesota Vikings in a Monday Night Football spectacular at Soldier Field, so it's a traffic-mageddon, end-of-days meltdown waiting to happen.
• Take Metra instead of crawling along the Eisenhower or Kennedy expressways. Be advised, however, the commuter railroad is not planning to provide any extra trains Monday.
• Consider a Pace stadium express bus -- to Soldier Field. But not to Wrigley. The suburban bus company is unable to schedule Cubs playoffs express buses because of uncertainty about timing.
• If you MUST drive ... how about a compromise? The Chicago Transit Authority has numerous park-and-ride lots at CTA stations in or near the suburbs. Park-and-rides include: Rosemont, Cumberland and Forest Park stations on the Blue Line; the Dempster-Skokie station on the Yellow Line; and the Howard station on the Red Line. For more, go to transitchicago.com/parking.
• Psssst! The Cubs provide free parking and a shuttle bus service to the game from a remote lot at 3900 N. Rockwell, just south of Irving Park Road and east of California Avenue.
• Got Ventra? Be sure to have a Ventra card for quick boarding on the CTA and Metra's Ventra app, available from the App Store or Google Play, to buy and display tickets on commuter trains.
• Don't even think about dropping off passengers near Wrigley. Streets near the ballpark will be blocked off to cars three hours before the game.
• If you take Metra, Union Station commuters can saunter six blocks east and catch a CTA Red Line train north (Howard-bound) to the Addison stop at Wrigley. Or grab a CTA No. 1 Bronzeville/Union Station bus or No. 151 Sheridan bus (on Canal Street) from Union Station to the Red Line.
• Ogilvie Transportation Center passengers can walk east six blocks, or take any CTA bus east, on Washington Street to the Red Line on State Street and ride in style to the Addison stop.
• If it's a night game, lucky riders on Metra's BNSF Line can zip downtown from Aurora, Naperville, Lisle or Downers Grove on a limited number of afternoon rush express trains. For info, go to metrarail.com.
• Fans riding on Metra's Union Pacific Northwest Line can exit at the Irving Park Station and catch the CTA No. 80 Irving Park bus east to the stadium. Likewise, UP North riders can get off at the Evanston Davis Street Station, walk east to the CTA's Davis Station and take the Purple Line to Howard and transfer to the Red Line.
• Metra Milwaukee North Line passengers can exit at Grayland Station, head south on Kilbourn to Addison, then hop on the CTA's No. 152 Addison bus east to Wrigley.
• Daily Herald readers like Wade Jarrell chimed in on Facebook with sage advice. "Just drive to Evanston," Jarrell wrote. "Park on the street near Foster and Maple, where there is a (CTA) stop, then take the Purple and Red lines."
One more thing
• If you intend to grab a taxi or ride-provider, book in advance and select a pickup location away from the chaos and blocked-off streets around Wrigley.