Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Getting Around in Chicago

You can take taxis anywhere in Chicago; from the airports or downtown to Hyde Park (where the university is located) it is easy to hail a cab. From Hyde Park to these destinations or elsewhere is less easy because there are fewer cabs on the streets – but you can call one to pick you up. The biggest company is Yellow Cab (phone 312 TAXICAB). If you are staying at a hotel, you can ask the front desk to get you a taxi. A taxi from O’Hare Airport to Hyde Park costs about $60; from Midway Airport to Hyde Park about $25-30; and from downtown to Hyde Park, about $25.

You can also use Chicago’s extensive public transportation system, called the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority), which consists of buses and trains. The CTA’s trip planner is at

and is a valuable resource for planning trips. When using the trip planner, use “Museum of Science and Industry” as your landmark origin/destination if you are staying in a hotel. Use “University of Chicago – main campus” if you are staying in the dorms.

The following CTA routes will be of interest to conference attendees:

Bus No. 55 and X55: Both run along 55th street. You can take either of these buses to/from Midway Airport and the conference, but be aware that this journey takes you through a neighborhood that may jangle your nerves. For shorter journeys, the 55 bus is a convenient way to get from the east side of Hyde Park, where the hotels are, to the main campus. The X55 makes fewer stops and is good for the airport but not good for travel within Hyde Park.

Bus No. 6: This is an express bus that runs between Hyde Park and downtown Chicago. It is the most economical way to get downtown.

Bus No. 10: This is an express bus that runs between the Museum of Science and Industry (in Hyde Park) and downtown Chicago. It is less frequent than the No. 6.

Blue Line: This is the elevated and underground train that runs between O’Hare Airport and downtown Chicago.

All CTA transportation is paid for with fare cards. These can be purchased and topped up at any CTA train station. The cost of a ride on a bus is $1.75, plus an additional 25 cents if your ride involves a transfer (to another bus). A train ride costs $2.00. You can pay with cash on buses only; the cash fare is $2.00 and you must have exact change. You can also purchase a 3 or 5 day visitor pass that will be good on all forms of CTA transportation.

The Metra Electric Line is not operated by the CTA. It runs relatively fast trains between Hyde Park and downtown. There are three stations in Hyde Park, near the hotels. See the link below for timetables. A one-way ride is $2.15. The downtown destination is Millennium Station.

Metra Schedule

[Thanks to DSNA member Orin Hargraves for this writeup ... Orin is the author of the guidebook Chicago At Your Door (sold abroad under the title Living and Working in Chicago), and available on Amazon and elsewhere ...]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are the truly magical routes.

Three daytime routes are operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). You can ride free by showing your Chicago Card when boarding. See Going downtown for the CTA #173 Lakeview Express evening bus.

CTA #170 bus
Where: Counter-clockwise around the Midway from 57th/Stony Island to 59th, Cottage Grove, 60th, and Stony Island back to 57th.
When: Weekdays 6:40 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
How often: Every 20 minutes.

CTA #171 bus
Where: Shoreland Hall to the central campus.
When: Daily, September through mid-June; weekdays only in the summer. Weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
How often: Every 15 to 30 minutes.

CTA #172 bus
Where: From 51st Street just east of South Hyde Park Boulevard to the central campus.
When: Daily, September through mid-June; weekdays only in the summer. 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
How often: Every 15 to 45 minutes.

11:09 AM  

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