Getting around Chicago is remarkably easy: The trick is understanding your transportation options so that you can make the best choices for your budget and schedule.
Chicago airport transportation options
Shuttles: Many local hotels and off-site parking services provide complimentary shuttle service to and from the airports. In addition, there are shared-ride shuttle services that can take you to your destination for a lower rate than you might pay for a taxi or rideshare.
Taxis: Follow the signs near the baggage claim area to the queue. If you’d like to share a ride with other passengers, thus reducing your fare, tell the runners who manage the queue that you are interested in sharing so they can assign you to an appropriate cab.
Public transit: The L services both O’Hare and Midway: The Blue Line begins at O’Hare and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Midway is served by the Orange Line, which begins service between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m. to about 1:00 a.m. every day. Both trains will take you into downtown Chicago. Connections to public buses, as well as Metra train stations, are available at each airport either via a shuttle service (O’Hare) or at the transportation center (Midway).
Alternate methods of transportation in Chicago
After you get into the city and are settled at your destination, you’ll want to start exploring. Fortunately, Chicago has a robust public transportation system that runs 24/7 in many neighborhoods. Other options include bike rentals and car sharing.
Chicago public transportation
Visitors to Chicago are often surprised to learn that the city offers 24/7 public transit options that include both trains and buses.
If you’re going to be exploring mostly downtown Chicago, you’ll want to use the “L,” which are trains that operate (mostly) on elevated tracks throughout the city. Additionally, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses operate on a regular schedule throughout the city.
If you’re wanting to venture out to the suburbs, you’ll want to use the Metra, which provides service from the city center to suburban locations. For a more affordable and easily accessible option, PACE buses serve the suburbs.
Bike sharing in Chicago
Chicago is a beautiful city with tons of things to see that you may miss if you’re in a train, car, or bus. To experience the in’s & out’s of the city, and get some exercise while you’re at it, consider renting a Divvy Bike: Bikes are available for rental at kiosks around town. A single ride is $3; $15 for a day pass. Download the app or check out the Divvy website for more information.
Tip: Check out these popular Divvy bike rides that will take you around many of Chicago’s most scenic and famous areas.
Car sharing in Chicago
Of course, you may also need the comfort and convenience of a car while in town. If that’s the case, Avail has clean, safe cars from Chicago locals available when you need them. Pick up your car from an Avail lot located in neighborhoods around Chicago. You’ll also be protected by Allstate insurance with 24/7 roadside assistance. Ready to explore the Windy City? Borrow a car in Chicago from $55 per day.