Commuter Train Into Chicago

Aug 1st, 2009, 05:59 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 217
Commuter Train Into Chicago

Can anyone give me some information about taking a commuter train into Chicago? I'll be driving in from Ohio, and I'd rather not pay a garage fee to park my car in the city. I'll be staying downtown and won't need my car while I'm there, so I just need a safe and inexpensive place to park for a few days.
memejs is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 06:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,881
METRA doesn't have overnight parking, or very limited. There is inexpensive parking downtown, which would be a lot more convenient.
MikeT is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 09:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,569
I second the above. During the week, most spaces in Metra lots are leased. If you're staying in The Loop or along Michigan Avenue, you can park in the Millennium Garage for about $24 per day. Check www.millenniumgarages.com. If you're staying in River North, check the Sterling Self Park at LaSalle and Kinzie.
Citylghts is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 11:13 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 736
Depending on when you will be in Chicago, Travelzoo has several hotel options that include parking.
japw82 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 09:50 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 217
On another thread (an older one that is no longer active) someone made a comment about a train that comes in from South Bend and a big lot with inexpensive parking. Does anyone know anything about that?
memejs is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 04:36 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
The train runs from South Bend airport to downtown Chicago. It takes about 2 hours. There are cheap parking lots located around the airport.

http://www.sbnair.com/Passengers/SouthShore.php
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 08:25 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
and how much is the train ticket roundtrip??
lincasanova is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 09:22 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
memejs, from where in Ohio are you coming?

If the OP lives in Cincinnati, South Bend would be a little out of the way.
exiledprincess is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 01:51 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
The OP asked about the South Bend option. Respectfully I assumed that s/he knows the difference between driving from Cleveland, OH or Cincinnati, OH, otherwise why even ask about the option?

Also, the R/T train fare is $21.50 and the least expensive parking option at the airport is $7 per 24 hours.

Would this be worth it for 1 night trip? Of course not, but if we're talking about 4-5 nights then the OP will save some ca$h. It's up to the OP to decide if the option is viable or enough of a saving to make it worthwhile. Even at $20 per 24 hours parking in downtown Chicago that would amount to $100 plus. With the train option, we're talking ~$50 total.

All I did was to answer the OP's direct question as to that particular option.

Allow the OP to decide if that is what he wanted and if not then ask what other options may work for her/him.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 04:27 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
AA, not everyone realizes that there might be alternatives before posting their inquiries. It does appear from recent posts that some OPs might not be doing a lot (if any) research ahead of time before asking. Just hard to tell with so little information given.

For example, I know from reading this post (and forum) and other websites that visitors driving in ask repeatedly about suggestions on any number of METRA - and CTA - lots for overnight parking, when the huge majority of them do not allow it and haven't for a long time.

Even though it is not a commuter train, it might be that Amtrak gives them a better option with less driving. However, the Amtrak routes are pretty much only along the far north/northeastern and far south/southwestern areas of the state. Or they might be interested in taking another mode of transportation, such as a bus.

BTW, the OP said a few days.
exiledprincess is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 04:35 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
When I mentioned Amtrak routes in specific areas of "the state" above, I was referring to Ohio, of course.
exiledprincess is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 05:51 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11
Here's another option. How about FREE? There are still a few Chicago neighborhoods like mine (Lincoln Square) that offer on-street parking without requiring permits. My thought is to park your car on a residential street for the duration and take the el (or even splurge & take a taxi) downtown. It is entirely feasible to do this - just depends on your comfort level.
3Zero is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 06:19 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
3Z, at one time (some time ago), I had heard that parking permits were not needed for only overnight parking (not long-term, though) in Lincoln Square.

However, I used to work with a fellow who owned a condo in Lincoln Square. I seem to remember that he had to get one for a guest who was visiting. That was a year (1-1/2 or more?) ago.

I did a quick online search and see a number of relocation sites, realtor sites, apartment rental sites for Lincoln Square specifically mentioning permit parking and how to get the permits/tags for parking there.

Also wanted to mention that not only do you have to watch out for areas with permit parking only, as well as time limits, but also those days where there is street cleaning when the car has to be moved.
exiledprincess is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 06:22 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11
One caveat: if you decide to park on a residential street, take the street sweeping schedule into account otherwise risk a $50 fine. Find it here: http://www.ci.chi.il.us/city/webport...egoryAction.do
3Zero is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 06:56 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
So it seems as though you would be most comfortable with driving as far as you can into the city and then parking the car for the time your staying downtown....

I would not suggest parking on ANY local streets unless most major streets have metered pay slip parking and most residential ones are tricky as to permits needed or street cleaning and such...

I would either park my car at MIDWAY LONG TERM parking(this is just 1 lot right across the street from the airport.... you can walk or be shuttled right to the door and jump onto the train.)http://www.midwayparksaver.com/?gcli...FR7yDAodflkRAA

and take the CTA TRAIN from the airport right to CLARK AND LAKE station downtown...You can buy the passes right at the entrance to the train and You would only need $5.00 on a transit card for the ride downtown and then back when it's time to leave CHicago.

From there you can probably walk to your hotel or at the most a 5 -7 dollar cab ride depending on traffic in the loop upon your arrival.

IF you want your car closer to you the MILLENNIUM PARK garages are still an option but could be costly depending on your budget...

http://millenniumgarages.com/

This option of the MIDWAY parking would be $9 a day and $5 for the train trip round trip total.
The other bonus of using the CTA Orange line train to get to downtown or back to the airport... They run all day and into the night .... You can travel between at least 6am until about midnight depending or where you board. So unlike the commuter trains a lot more choices for travel and the trip is only about 15 minutes or so from downtown on a good day.

Hope this helps.....
kimonegirl is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 06:56 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 11
ex-princess it is true that permit parking exists in some neighborhoods/some parts of neighborhoods and not others. It seems less common north & west of downtown. I live sort of on the fringe of Lincoln Square (specifically west of (N) Western and, so far, there is no permit parking. And yes, as you wrote, a temporary permit is required in order to park overnight in areas where permit parking exists. That would not be a good option for memejs.
3Zero is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 07:01 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
You can park in long term parking at OHare, and then take the airport overhead tram to one of the main terminals where you can catch the blue line into the city for about $2.50. Parking at the outer-most OHare lots runs somewhere around $10-15 per day, depending on the lot. I think the OHare parking web site will give you the kind of information you need.

There may/may not be similar parking that is cheaper (long term) at Midway??? Would this be better for you, since you are coming in from Ohio? Depends on which route you are taking, I guess.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 07:14 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,499
3Z, I had thought that perhaps that might be the case.

With the current budget shortfalls, I am thinking the City of Chicago will address illegal parking in a swift and decisive manner.
exiledprincess is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2009, 09:05 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
I'm gong to throw out a suggestion. Drop your luggage at teh hotel and head out to Oak Park Illinois, the home of Frank Lloyd Wright houses and studio.

Thes parking garages there were only $10/day last year.

You have the train that goes downtown (30 minutes approx)just walking distance (5-10 minutes) from both garages (holly Court and Lake Forst ).

Just an idea. Also, the "EL" is a lot cheaper than Amtrak from Indiana. Plus, Oak Park is a great place to visit.
lincasanova is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2009, 11:19 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
the "EL" is a lot cheaper than Amtrak from Indiana.,

that depends on how you look at it. If you factor the total cost, the train is much cheaper.

South Bend to downtown to Oak Park is ~110 miles each way.

Assuming the OPs car gets 20 miles per gallon @~$2.50 per, the extra driving will cost ~$40 R/T plus the train at ~$5 and you're looking at ~$45. Plus add $10 per day for parking.

The train from South Bend is $21.50 R/T total plus $7 per day for parking.

On paper your suggestion seems like it makes sense but in reality it's more expensive.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:41 PM.