We Can All Agree: We Take Transit with “Pride”

By Michael VanDekreke, Director, RTA Mobility Services

This weekend is the 50th Annual Pride Parade!  I remember the first time I saw the parade. As a gay man from a small town in Illinois, it was great to see such a joyful and open celebration of our wonderful community. I’ve worked at the RTA for 13 years, and I am proud of our agency’s support of the LGBTQ community and this annual parade.

If you go, please remember the best way to get there is to take transit.

This year, the parade at Broadway and Montrose at noon on Sunday, June 30. This year’s route is the same as last year’s: south on Broadway to Halsted, south on Halsted to Belmont, east on Belmont to Broadway, south on Broadway to Diversey, and ending at Diversey and Sheridan.

With various street closures, construction projects, and massive crowds, traffic will absolutely be an issue. But we can all agree, taking public transit is the best way to get to the Pride Parade.

Here’s what you may need to be aware of on the day of the parade:

You can access the parade from several CTA stations, including Wilson and Sheridan. The Red and Brown Lines provide the closest service to the parade route with fast, frequent service:

  • From the Red Line, Wilson, Sheridan, Addison or Belmont all provide access via a short walk to the parade route.
  • From the Brown Line, Diversey, Wellington and Belmont are the nearest stations to the parade.
  • Lakefront bus routes, including the #146 and #151, provide convenient access from the north, the Gold Coast/North Michigan Avenue and downtown, to the areas east of the parade route.

CTA will be providing extra service as follows to accommodate the large numbers of people who attend the parade every year.

  • Rail: More service and/or longer trains on the Red, Orange, Brown, Blue lines
  • Bus: #74 Fullerton, #76 Diversey, #77 Belmont and #78 Montrose

If possible, we encourage you to take advantage of train service due to increased local traffic near the parade route and a number of bus reroutes around it.

The following bus routes will be rerouted:

Metra will also add train service on Sunday to accommodate those attending the Pride Parade.  To view the schedules, please go to Metra’s website: www.metrarail.com.

The parade route is easily accessible through CTA connections from all five downtown Chicago train stations: Chicago Union Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center, Millennium Station, Van Buren Street Station and LaSalle Street Station.

About Michael VanDekreke

Michael VanDekreke is the RTA’s Director of Mobility Services. He oversees management of the Mobility Management program, including the RTA’s Travel Training program, the ADA Paratransit Certification Program and customer service.

Prior to joining the RTA, VanDekreke was in private practice as a psychotherapist and worked with the Pride Institute conducting individual, couples and group counseling. He also managed multiple programs serving more than 400 children and families with disabilities during his tenure at the United Cerebral Palsy of Will County. VanDekreke currently serves on the board of the Association of Travel Instruction.

VanDekreke earned his Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Illinois State University and Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and lives in McHenry County with his husband and five dogs.