Transportation from O'Hare airport

Old Jun 5th, 2022, 03:57 PM
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Transportation from O'Hare airport

I have a friend who is a solo retired female traveler who hasn't been to Chicago before and is going on a really fun architectural tour. She decided to go to Chicago a few days before the tour departs. She asked me if I knew of any good shuttle or airport transport companies to and from O'Hare, so I thought I would ask here. I rarely fly into Chicago so thought someone here might have some suggestions. I believe she is staying in River North neighborhood.
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Old Jun 5th, 2022, 05:39 PM
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As a retired female traveler I always check with hotel for possible services. In past The Palmer House where I stayed recommended "airport shuttle' which I used.( multiple destinations and cheaper than taxi) but not sure if resumed since Covid.
Since Covid many changes @ O'Hare.
As in many cases, cost can be deciding factor.
My last visit I took a taxi, was quick convenient and comfortable.
45 $ plus tip.
A friend used "Blue train' took 45-55 min. and still had to walk 3 bocks to hotel..
I know some people like Uber but is now just as expensive as taxi.
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Old Jun 5th, 2022, 08:20 PM
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I recently rode the blue line "El" from and back to O'Hare. The fare leaving O'Hare is only $5 for a 24 hour ticket. You can make a transfer to a bus if you get off at Clark/Lake. You are getting on an empty train car if you get on at O'Hare.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 05:05 AM
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I consider time of day, weather, and how much time I have when deciding between the two. I'm not on the blue line train from O'Hare before 8:30 am or after 6 pm. For your friend, if she's not too frugal a traveler, I'd recommend a taxi ($55-60) for River North. Just much more pleasant, convenient and secure feeling when not rolling a suitcase through the city. Traffic could be bad, so that cost could inch up, and the time could take as long as the 50 min train.

If it's nice weather and during the day, the blue line train is fine and wonderfully cheap, but generally a utilitarian, dingy ride. Not that any subway is a joy but when I compare Chicago's blue line to average subways in London or Tokyo, the trains aren't as clean or well-maintained. We do seem, on average, like the trains of NYC, if she's ridden the subways there. She'd just transfer at Clark/Lake to the red line at State/Lake (an underground walkway) taking the northbound to the Grand station or Chicago station, depending on which is nearer her hotel. (If she's equidistant between the two, I'd choose Grand. Walking up the stairs, she should look down on the sidewalk. There's a compass to point her in the right direction.)

The O'Hare blue line is the end destination so the train is emptied when it gets there, but quickly fills up again with other travellers who all crowd onto the train car nearest the airport, so if she can resist the urge to panic and fear the doors closing on her (something I struggle with), she can hustle further down the platform to a train car that has more seats. She'll see what I mean as there is no digital "clock" to let you know when the train will close their doors and pull out from the station, so no way to gauge how much time you have except for the little warning bell & recording that sounds about 15 seconds before "doors are closing."

Not familiar with other shuttles, but her hotel should have recommendations. She did choose the right city for architecture! Sadly, I'm hard pressed to recommend my city right now for anything except that and Frank Lloyd Wright, the Art Institute, and maybe theater (though offerings have been lackluster). Hoping things get closer to normal in a few years.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 09:49 AM
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Thanks all for the advice. It sounds like a taxi may be the way to go for her in these covid times, but I'll on this thread and she can decide.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 10:04 AM
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Yeah, and I may also be more cautious and fearful as I live here, and it seems all I hear from the daily news is about crime and shootings, many on/at train stations, and it just picks up in good weather. It doesn't help that many professionals work from home so River North and the loop are less busy.
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