Chicago O’Hare Airport: Public Transportation Options Explained

Getting to and from Chicago O’Hare Airport can be a bit troublesome, considering it’s one of the busiest airports in America. Getting there on time is incredibly important, but if you don’t how to accomplish that, then you’re going to be in trouble.

To help you with the process, here are explanations as to what public transportation options are available and how they work. They each fulfill different purposes, operate at different times, and have different prices.

Chicago O’Hare AirportPhoto source

The CTA Blue Line

Other than getting ord car rental, you could consider taking the CTA Blue Line to Chicago O’Hare Airport. The Blue Line trains are one of the cheapest transportation options out there going to the airport. The Blue Line also makes connections to most of the other CTA lines, so you can get to almost anywhere you want to go. The best thing about the Blue Line is that it operates 24 hours a day, making it easy for you to catch a red-eye without having to spend more on a cab. And because it’s reliable, you won’t have to worry about your personal driver being late.

● Travel time from O’Hare Airport to downtown Chicago: roughly 35 minutes.
● Price of ticket: $5.00. Cash, credit card, and contactless payments are accepted.


Pace is a public bus line that services all of Chicago. For Pace Route 250, it operates weekdays and Saturdays and includes service to Davis Street CTA Station, Skokie Swift CTA Station, Notre Dame and Main East High Schools, and Lutheran General Hospital. It can take you almost anywhere you want to go within Chicago from the airport.

● Travel time from O’Hare Airport: depends on the destination; to Davis Street is about an hour.
● Price of ticket: $2.25. Cash only.

The Pace Route 330 also operates on weekdays and Saturdays, and goes to Amtrak/Metra BNSF Line La Grange Road Station, Quarry Shopping Center, and Countryside Plaza, just to name a few.

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● Travel time from O’Hare to Harlem: 1 hour and 20 minutes.
● Price of ticket: $2.25. Cash only.


Metra is the commuter rail service that runs throughout the Chicago area. The North Central train line connects to downtown Chicago, as well as the North Central suburbs. It operates from Monday to Friday, which can leave you stranded if you’re traveling on the weekends. Arriving at the airport, you can get to the Metra using the O’Hare Transfer Station.

● Travel time from O’Hare to Downtown Chicago: about 35 minutes.
● Price of ticket: $6.25. They can be purchased online or with cash on board.

Public transportation can be a great way to get around Chicago, especially from the airport. But if you’d like more freedom with your travel arrangements, then renting a vehicle might be the better way to go. You get your choice of car to suit your needs, and you can return it when you’re all done.

If you’re interested in hiring a vehicle rental for your next period of travel, be sure to shop around and find a provider that best fits your budget.

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