Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by JoeG
I went to the CTA website and it looks like it takes about an hour by subway to get from Ohare to CUS. I'll be making the trip about noon on a weekday.
Is there anything I should know about this trip, other than what is on the CTA website?
If my plane is very late, about how long does a cab take, and about how much would it cost?
  by Gilbert B Norman
What likely is not said is that I, for one, would feel uncomfortable riding the CTA Blue Line much after dark. Too much of the route is through the wrong part of town.

But midday, the above is a non-issue.

A taxicab O Hare to the Loop is, tip included, is in the $45 range. At times, i have found myself sitting in a Kennedy (I-90) tie up at any time of day. However, even though we here at this Forum by and large promote the use of mass transportation whenever possible, we should be mindful that the taxicab represents door to door personal transportation, and away from rush hour will offer a more expedient passage.
  by wafer
The other thing to be careful on is where you get off in downtown Chicago. I regularly get turned around and head off in the wrong direction. Try to pick up one of the downtown Chicago maps and pay attention to the streets. It's only 2 blocks I think, but as mentioned, it can be sketchy depending on the time of day.

  by bratkinson
It's more than 2 blocks from CUS to the Dearborn St subway. As I recall, it's about 5-6, although they are 'short blocks'. If you have lots of luggage, or anything NOT on wheels, I'd suggest a taxi for the short ride.

If walking, if you fail to exit CUS from the food-court level next to "Nuts on Clark" (if memory serves), you're going out the wrong door. Dearborn St, and all of downtown Chicago, is directly across the river from CUS.

  by JoeG
Thanks for the info. Interestingly, when I went to the Ohare website, I clicked on Directions to Ohare and got...a highway map. I couldn't find a link to Metra or the CTA. I also couldn't find directions to Union Station from Ohare on the Amtrak website.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Monica will be there to escort you to CUS HAHAHAHAHAHA

Get off the Blue Line At Clinton St and walk two blocks North (there is signage) to CUS.

"You can't miss it".

  by matt1168
Normally, it takes me 45 minutes to get from O'hare to Washington, and once I rode O'hare to UIC-Halstead, and it took around 50 minutes. Not a bad ride.

  by MikeF
The O'Hare leg of the Blue Line is relatively safe, even at night. I've ridden it many times between 10 p.m. and midnight and have never had any problems. The Congress and Douglas branches are perhaps a little more questionable but still safe.

As Gilbert mentioned, at midday a taxi will be notably faster and, if you have luggage, more convenient.
  by boyishcolt
i have to make this same trip from CUS to ORD
I have never done this before so as i understand it correct. you walk 2 blocks to Clinton Street Station and go on the Blue line to ORD and i see the mention of the subway to ORD is this one of the same? i know Chicago has a subway but did not know it went to ORD and why doesn't the Blue Line go direct to CUS? have they ever planned a extension? how far is the orange line from CUS if i use Midway?

  by MikeF
The Blue Line is the subway to O'Hare. In the downtown area it runs as a subway under Milwaukee Avenue, Lake Street, Dearborn Street and Congress Parkway. In outlying areas it runs on elevated structure and in expressway medians. The line into O'Hare was completed in 1984 and enters the airport via the median of I-190 and a short subway.

You are correct, the Clinton station on the Blue Line is two blocks south of Chicago Union Station. No extension has been planned to run the Blue Line directly to Union Station -- most people don't see the need for a two-block subway route. Years ago, before the Congress subway was built and 'L' trains ran on the old Metropolitan West Side Elevated, there was a somewhat closer station at Canal one-half block south of Jackson Boulevard, but when the subway was constructed in 1958, beneath Congress Parkway was chosen as the most practical routing.

The Orange Line station closest to Chicago Union Station is at Quincy/Wells, which is about four blocks east of Union Station. Be sure you enter the 'L' station on the east side of Wells Street, as the Orange Line only stops on that side. The Orange Line runs clockwise around the Loop, so if you are going from Union Station to Midway you will travel around the Loop over Wells Street, Lake Street and Wabash Avenue before heading southwest to the airport.

  by boyishcolt
:) thanks Mike