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CHICAGO — One of Chicago’s most beloved holiday traditions is welcoming back passengers with some guidelines in place to make sure everyone remains healthy.

The CTA’s Holiday Train will be accepting passengers this Friday, Nov. 26 and the Holiday Bus will take to the streets on Nov. 30.

Last year, Santa and his elves had a special train and bus that didn’t accommodate visitors due to COVID safety measures.

Masks will be required for all riders and social distancing is encouraged on platforms and onboard. Capacity will be capped, and riders may not be allowed to board at some stops if the train or bus is full.

Riders can expect the spectacle of a six-car train, decorated with holiday scenes, countless sparkling lights and festive LED signs. Santa and his reindeer will ride along outside the train, traveling from rail line to rail line to greet children and families.

Santa and his new helper, Ella the Elf, remind riders of the following travel and safety rules:

  • Face masks are required – no matter your age or vaccination status. Everyone must wear one, even Santa, Ella and the other elves! Don’t get on the naughty list! 
  • Be courteous, respectful and patient, while you wait and when you board. 
  • When possible, please socially distance on platforms, at bus stops, and aboard the Allstate CTA Holiday Train and Allstate CTA Holiday Bus.  
  • Further, to help keep everyone safe: 
    • If the train or bus become too crowded, it may not stop to pick up additional riders. If this happens, Santa encourages you to come back on another day or at time when there may be less of a crowd. 
    • There will be NO photos with Santa this year. 
    • Please do NOT bring strollers on the train and bus, so there is more room for riders. 

You can catch a ride or a picture of the Allstate CTA Holiday Train here. Look for the candy cane icon to find the Holiday Train and when it might be getting close to your neighborhood station.

NEW: Limited, Allstate CTA Holiday Train Loop-Shuttle: 

As a reward for all the good boys and girls of Chicago, Santa and his elves have arranged for the Allstate CTA Holiday Train to make two special downtown runs – circling the Loop for several hours on Sunday, December 5 and December 12. These special trips will also offer picture-perfect scenes of two Chicago icons — the decked-out train and its decorative exterior is against the backdrop of downtown skyscrapers. 

Holiday Bus details

Beginning Tuesday, November 30, the Allstate CTA Holiday Bus is another great way to see Santa and his elves. On the exterior of the bus, customers will see “Ralphie the Reindeer.” Inside the bus, visitors will find a miniature village, lights and holiday-themed seating. Best of all, the bus includes Mr. Claus, in his sleigh, on a rooftop, ready to deliver toys! 

Fans also can see where to hop aboard the Allstate CTA Holiday Bus by tracking its location here

The Allstate CTA Holiday Train and Allstate CTA Holiday Bus will make all stops along their scheduled routes. Normal CTA fares apply. Schedules and other information – including the Bus Tracker Map – are available on the CTA website