Image via Trover by Vincent Ramundo

With almost 1 million flights landing and taking off at O’Hare International Airport every year, it makes sense that a decent number of passengers head into Chicago itself for a visit. If you are trying to figure out how to get from O’Hare to downtown Chicago, a multitude of options are available for every budget. Here is the rundown on the most popular methods of transportation between the airport and downtown.

Take the ‘L’ Train

The “L” train is undoubtedly the easiest and most cost-effective way to get from the airport into the city. Trains leave from the lower concourse level and can be found by following signs for either “CTA Trains” or “Trains to the City.” Ticket vending machines are located near the station and accept cash, credit, and debit cards.

The total journey time from O’Hare Airport to downtown Chicago is approximately 45 minutes, and the trip should cost less than $5. If you are staying in Chicago and plan on using public transportation during your visit, you may wish to purchase an unlimited pass, which allows you to take an unlimited amount of train and bus journeys for the purchased period.

The Blue Line runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and all trains leaving the airport stop in downtown Chicago.

Take a Taxi

While less affordable than public transport, taxis provide a convenient journey from Point A to Point B. You can expect to pay between $25-40 for a one-way fare to downtown Chicago from the airport. Travel time will vary, depending on the time of day. Rush hour periods can take up to 90 minutes, but if traffic is low your taxi can take you to any hotels in Chicago in approximately 30 minutes.

Taxi stands are located at the lower level, outside of baggage claim. Alternatively, you can arrange a “meet-and-greet” service, but expect a higher premium fare for the convenience.

Take the Bus

Pace buses run several bus routes leaving from the Kiss ‘n’ Fly/ATS Station at the airport. The main ATS station is located on ground level at the main parking garage. Follow signs for the Bus/Shuttle Center for easy navigation.

A regular fare is only $1.75, and $0.25 for any additional transfers. Both route 250 and 330 serve the airport, but check the Pace bus website to make sure you take the most convenient route.

Take an Airport Shuttle

Several airport shuttle companies operate a service between the airport and downtown Chicago. Shuttles leave from the ground floor of the main parking garage at the Bus/Shuttle Center. Most offer a door-to-door service, but the journey time will be affected by both traffic and the number of other passengers who are dropped off at their destinations ahead of you.

Fares range from $25-$100, depending on the size of the vehicle and whether the ride is shared. You can find more information on shuttle companies on the O’Hare International Airport website.

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