Chicago Union Station Airport Transportation
There are five ways to travel between Chicago Union Station and Chicago O'Hare or Chicago Midway Airport:
Chicago Union Station Airport CTA Trains
The CTA is the mass transit service that runs buses and subway and elevated ("El") trains in Chicago and adjacent suburbs. From both airports, it is best to take train service to/from Chicago Union Station. See the CTA website for more information.
Chicago O'Hare Airport
CTA Train service operates from the basement level of O'Hare Airport. Signage is very good. From any concourse, go down to baggage claim. Identify and ride the escalator or elevator that goes down to the basement toward parking. Once you are in the basement corridor connecting the terminals, walk toward Terminal 2 and you will find the O'Hare station. The trains run 24 hours a day, seven days a week to downtown and cost $2.25 a person. You will be getting on a Blue Line train. Approximately 50 minutes later you will be at the Clinton station. Disembark from the train and follow the signs to the stair case leading to Union Station. Once out of the station, walk two blocks south on Clinton Street to Jackson Boulevard, one block east to Canal Street and one-half block south to the Amtrak entrance on the right side.
Chicago Midway Airport
CTA Train service operates from a station connecting the Midway Airport. Again, signage is very good. From the concourses, follow the CTA signs through the parking area to reach the Midway station. The trains run 24 hours a day, seven days a week to downtown and cost $2.25 a person. You will be getting on a Orange Line train. Approximately 35 minutes later you will be at the Quincy/Wells station. Disembark from the train and go down the staircase to Wells Street. Once out of the station, walk one-half block north on Wells Street to Adams Street and four blocks west (over the Chicago River) to the Amtrak entrance on the left side.
Chicago Union Station Airport METRA Trains
The METRA is the commuter train service that runs double-decker trains from Chicago to the suburbs. There is a METRA stop available at Chicago O'Hare Airport. There is not a METRA stop near Chicago Midway Airport. See the METRA website for more information.
Chicago O'Hare Airport
From every concourse follow the signs to the Automated Transit System (ATS). Once on the system, you will want to go to the end of the line at Parking Lot E. After you disembark at Lot E, find the complimentary shuttle to Parking Lot F. Tell the driver that you want to be dropped off at the METRA station. You should allow 45 minutes to get from the domestic terminal to the O'Hare Transfer station. Stay on the west side of the tracks to catch the train to Chicago Union Station. The METRA trains only run Monday through Friday. There are 10 trains a day inbound on the North Central Service from the O'Hare Transfer station to Chicago Union Station starting at 6:17 am and ending at 6:05 pm. Outbound from Chicago Union Station to O'Hare Transfer station, there are 11 trains a day starting at 7:10 am and ending at 8:30 pm. The cost for a one way pass is $3.80. The train trip will take about 40 minutes.
Take the ATS and the bus to get to the station at O'Hare
Not available at night or on weekends or holidays
Mainly a rush hour service; there is a four hour gap between service in the middle of the day.
Chicago Union Station Airport Shuttle Vans
The cheapest option for non-transit transportation is the shuttle van. But you want to make sure that your van service is clean and punctual. Although you may make stops before reaching your destination, there will only be a few of them. Also, shuttle vans are great for larger parties since you can often negotiate a discount with the shuttle van company. From either Chicago O' Hare Airport or Chicago Midway Airport to Union Station the shuttle van will cost around $30 per person plus gratuities.
More expensive than public transit
Potential riding with strangers
More stops during trip compared to non-stop taxi
Chicago Union Station Airport Taxis
There are several taxi companies based at the airport. Taxis can be found on the baggage claim level of your concourse. There should be a taxi dispatcher to assign you to a taxi. All of the taxis are metered. It should cost about $40 from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago Union Station and about $29 from Chicago Midway Airport to Chicago Union Station. Gratuities are extra. Do not take rides from "taxi services" that solicit in or out of the terminal or train station that is not in the designated taxi line!
More expensive than public transit
Quality and comfort of taxis vary greatly
May be difficult to find at Union Station during off-peak hours
Chicago Union Station Airport Chauffeured Limousines
If you have three or four people in your party, a luxury sedan may be the most economic form of transportation since you pay one price for the car. These are usually late model Lincolns or Cadillacs that have all the options you may wish. For parties of five or six, you should consider hiring a luxury limousine. They are usually late model Lincoln or Cadillac Stretch Limousines with complete comfort and luxuries. Or if you just want to travel in luxury on arrival or departure to and from the airport, hire a chauffeured sedan or limo. From Chicago O'Hare Airport to Chicago Union Station, a sedan hire will cost $95 (for the vehicle) and $140 for a limo. From Chicago Midway Airport to Chicago Union Station, a sedan hire will cost $80 and $125 for a limo. Gratuities are extra. As with shuttle vans, you want to make sure that the hired vehicle is clean and punctual.