BOYSTOWN — When it comes to LGBTQ equality, Chicago wants you to get on board.
Ahead of Sunday's Pride Parade, the CTA is debuting a rainbow-themed train in celebration of Chicago's LGBTQ community.
Wrapped in a rainbow flag, the four-car train will run along the Red Line this weekend in an effort by the transit authority "to show our commitment to equality and inclusion," officials said.
The CTA also will sell special Pride-themed single-ride Ventra tickets at 30 of its busiest rail stations. Similarly special tickets were designed to celebrate the Chicago Cubs' 2016 World Championship and sold before Opening Day in April.
The Red Line train will be decorated with a Pride-themed rainbow ahead of Sunday's parade. [Provided/CTA]
Chicago will be decked out with rainbow flags — the symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer social movements — for the 48th annual Pride Parade, which kicks off at noon at Broadway and Montrose.
With hundreds of thousands of people flocking to Chicago for one of the largest Pride parades in the world, traffic will be congested. Streets will close near the parade route, and parking with be restricted, so officials encourage paradegoers to use public transit to get to Lakeview or Uptown.
The CTA will increase rail service along the Red, Brown, Blue and Orange lines for most of the day, and officials recommend leaving the parade from a station other than Belmont — which tends to be the most crowded and is sometimes shut down for safety — to alleviate congestion. For the Red Line, that means getting on at Sheridan, Addison or Wilson or using the Wellington or Diversey stations for the Brown Line.
CTA officials wanted the rainbow-themed train to show customers that everyone should feel comfortable riding public transit in Chicago. [Provided/CTA]
Bicycles will not be permitted on CTA trains Sunday, but they are allowed on the racks on the front of buses. Strollers and carts must be folded before boarding.
The CTA recommends purchasing fares in advance to avoid long lines. For more information, visit transitchicago.com/prideparade.
Trains only get decked out in full wraps for special occasions, most memorably for the winter holiday season each year.