Parking outside of Chicago

Old Sep 12th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Parking outside of Chicago

We are headed to Chicago next week to tourist for a few days & visit our son who lives in Madison. We don't want a car in the city, but will pick one up to go to Madison. Would it be realistic to park the rental car at the airport & use public transportation to our downtown hotel? Is there any other outlying area that would be good to park? Or would it be best to just park downtown? Thanks!
NatalieM is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2008, 12:31 PM
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It's not clear to me - are you flying into Chicago? Are you going to spend time in Chicago first, or are you headed to Madison first? Are you going back to Chicago after you visit Madison?

Old Sep 12th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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Flying to Chicago (O'Hare) & spending a couple days, then driving to Madison, then back to Chicago for a couple days...weird plan, I know. Our son's a medical resident so we're working around his schedule.
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 01:05 PM
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Just rent the car for your trip to & from Madison.
Mass transit to & from airport is good-and much cheaper than parking your car in Chicago.
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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 01:12 PM
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Or, fly into O'Hare and use public transit while there (very easy). To go to Madison, take the Van Galder bus from either the Union Station downtown or from O'Hare. Your son can provide rides while you are in Madison (it is also very walkable) and you can take the bus back to O'Hare. It is a great bus and you will enjoy your trip.

Have fun whatever you decide.

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Old Sep 12th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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You've received good advice. Renting a car to leave it parked is a waste. You can get from ORD to The Loop and to most tourist sights via public transit. Most things are located in a relatively compact area.

You can purchase visitor passes at the ORD train station. They allow unlimited rides all-day. A 1-day pass is $5, a 2-day is $9 and a 3-day is $12. The machine accepts cash and plastic.

There is ongoing construction on the Red and Blue Line trains on most weekends and some trains are rerouted. Service may be suspended in some areas with shuttle buses to bridge construction areas. Check for the latest info.
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Old Oct 10th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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Van Galder bus now goes by CoachUSA. Good suggestion. Very nice bus ride. I see you have probably already taken your trip, but for anyone else who is interested, Megabus also goes from Chi to Madison and prices can be as low as $1.00 a ticket if you book far enough in advance. Tickets only available on the internet, very few stops on the routes, only allowed to take one bag.
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