Getting From Chicago O’Hare Airport To Union Station

Travelling between Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Union Station in downtown Chicago can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With several transportation options available, getting between these two major Chicago transportation hubs is fairly straightforward. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get from plane to train or vice versa.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: The most convenient and fastest option is to take the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line train. It takes about 45 minutes and costs $5 each way.

In the sections below, we’ll go over all of your options – from trains and shuttles to taxis and rideshares – and provide tips to help you choose the best option based on your budget, travel plans, and preferences.

Taking the CTA Blue Line Train

Cost and Duration

Taking the CTA Blue Line train from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Union Station is a convenient and cost-effective option for travelers. The cost of a one-way ticket is $5, and the journey takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the time of day and any potential delays.

Compared to other transportation options, such as taxis or rideshares, the Blue Line train offers a more affordable and efficient way to reach Union Station.

Accessing the Blue Line from O’Hare

Accessing the Blue Line train from O’Hare Airport is easy and well-signposted. After collecting your luggage, follow the signs for “CTA Trains” or “Trains to the City.” The station is located in Terminal 2, and you can access it by taking the escalators or elevators down to the lower level.

Once at the station, look for the signs indicating the Blue Line trains heading towards the city center.

Accessing Union Station from the Blue Line

Upon arriving at the Clinton stop, which is the closest station to Union Station, you will need to walk a short distance to reach your final destination. Follow the signs for “Union Station” and exit the station onto Clinton Street.

From there, it’s just a few minutes’ walk to Union Station, where you can catch your train to your desired destination. The walk is straightforward and well-marked, making it easy to navigate.

Blue Line Tips

Here are some tips to make your journey on the Blue Line train as smooth as possible:

  • Check the CTA website or app for real-time train schedules and any service disruptions or delays.
  • Consider purchasing a Ventra card, which is a reloadable fare card that can be used for multiple journeys on the CTA system.
  • If you have a lot of luggage, be mindful of the train’s capacity during peak hours and try to avoid overcrowded trains.
  • Keep your personal belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings while on the train.
  • If you’re not familiar with the Chicago public transportation system, don’t hesitate to ask CTA staff or fellow passengers for assistance.

By following these tips and utilizing the CTA Blue Line train, you can easily and efficiently travel from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Union Station, allowing you to continue your journey with ease.

Shuttle Services

When it comes to getting from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Union Station, shuttle services are a convenient and affordable option for travelers. These services offer a hassle-free way to transport passengers from the airport to their desired destination in downtown Chicago.

O’Hare Airport Shuttle

The O’Hare Airport Shuttle is a popular choice among travelers. Operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), this shuttle provides a direct and efficient route from O’Hare Airport to Union Station.

The shuttle runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making it a convenient option for those arriving or departing at any time. With comfortable seating and ample luggage space, the O’Hare Airport Shuttle ensures a pleasant and stress-free journey for passengers.

GO Airport Express

Another reliable shuttle service is GO Airport Express. This company offers shared-ride shuttles that operate between O’Hare Airport and Union Station. GO Airport Express provides a door-to-door service, picking up passengers from their desired location and dropping them off at their destination.

With professional drivers and a fleet of well-maintained vehicles, GO Airport Express ensures a comfortable and efficient ride for its passengers. Reservations can be made online or through their customer service hotline, making it easy to secure a spot on their shuttle.

Private Shuttles

For those seeking a more personalized experience, private shuttles are also available. These shuttles offer exclusive transportation services, catering to the specific needs and preferences of individual travelers.

Private shuttles provide the flexibility of choosing your own pickup and drop-off times, allowing you to customize your travel itinerary. Many private shuttle companies also offer additional amenities, such as Wi-Fi, refreshments, and entertainment options, to enhance the overall travel experience.

While private shuttles may be a bit pricier than shared-ride options, they offer a level of convenience and comfort that is unmatched.

Whether you choose the O’Hare Airport Shuttle, GO Airport Express, or a private shuttle service, you can be confident that your journey from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Union Station will be smooth and efficient.

These shuttle services provide a reliable and affordable transportation option for travelers, allowing them to reach their destination with ease.

Taxi or Rideshare


One option for getting from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Union Station is by taking a taxi. Taxis can be easily found at the designated taxi stands outside each terminal. They offer a convenient and direct way of transportation, especially for those who have a lot of luggage or prefer a more traditional mode of transportation.

It is important to note that taxi fares in Chicago are metered, which means the cost of the ride will depend on the distance traveled and the time spent in the taxi. The average fare from O’Hare Airport to Union Station is around $40 to $50.

However, this can vary based on traffic conditions and any additional fees or surcharges.

Travelers should also consider tipping the taxi driver, as it is customary in the United States to tip for good service. A typical tip is around 15% to 20% of the total fare.


An alternative to taking a taxi is using a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. These app-based transportation services have become increasingly popular in recent years and offer a convenient and often more affordable option for getting around the city.

To use Uber or Lyft, travelers will need to download the respective app on their smartphone and create an account. From there, they can request a ride and track the driver’s location in real-time.

One of the advantages of using Uber or Lyft is that the fare is calculated upfront, so travelers will know the cost of the ride before they book. This can be particularly helpful for budget-conscious travelers or those who want to avoid any surprises.

Considerations for Taxi vs Rideshare

When deciding between taking a taxi or using a rideshare service, there are a few factors to consider.

  • Cost: In general, rideshare services tend to be more cost-effective than taxis. However, during peak travel times or periods of high demand, surge pricing may apply, which can significantly increase the fare.
  • Convenience: Both taxis and rideshare services offer door-to-door service, but rideshare services often have shorter wait times and can be more readily available, especially during busy times.
  • Policies and Safety: Taxis and rideshare services may have different policies and safety measures in place. For example, taxis typically have cameras installed for security purposes, while rideshare services have driver and vehicle information readily available for passengers.

Ultimately, the choice between taking a taxi or using a rideshare service depends on personal preferences, budget, and the specific circumstances of the trip. Both options provide reliable transportation from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Union Station, allowing travelers to choose the option that best suits their needs.

Driving Yourself

If you prefer the convenience and flexibility of driving yourself, there are a few important things to consider when getting from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Union Station. Here are some tips to make your journey as smooth as possible.

Parking at O’Hare

Parking at O’Hare Airport can be a bit pricey, but there are options available to suit your budget. The airport offers both short-term and long-term parking options. Short-term parking is ideal if you are only going to be at the airport for a few hours, while long-term parking is more cost-effective if you will be away for several days.

It is recommended to check the official O’Hare Airport website for the most up-to-date information on parking rates and availability.

Parking at Union Station

When you arrive at Union Station, there are several parking garages nearby where you can safely leave your vehicle. The closest parking facility is the Union Station Parking Garage, located just a short walk from the station.

Other options include nearby public parking lots and street parking, although availability may vary. It is advisable to check the rates and availability in advance to ensure a hassle-free parking experience.

Tips for Driving

Driving in a busy city like Chicago can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Here are a few tips to help make your driving experience smoother:

  • Use a GPS or navigation app to help you navigate the city streets and find the best route to Union Station.
  • Be aware of the traffic conditions, especially during peak hours, and plan your journey accordingly.
  • Follow the traffic signs and signals, and be cautious of pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Consider using a parking app or website to find available parking spots and reserve a spot in advance.
  • Allow yourself some extra time for parking and walking to Union Station, especially during busy periods.

By following these tips, you can have a stress-free driving experience and enjoy your journey from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Union Station.


Getting between Chicago O’Hare and Union Station is easiest using the CTA Blue Line train, but travelers do have various transportation options depending on their budget and needs.

With the Blue Line being affordable, frequent, and dropping you right into the city center, it’s hard to beat for simplicity and convenience. But airport shuttles, taxis, rideshares, and driving yourself are all solid options too, each with their own pros and cons.

By weighing the cost, travel time, and ease of use for each mode of transport, you can choose the best way to get between the airport and train station for your particular trip.

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