Metra to offer O'Hare shuttle trains during DNC

Publication Date
Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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Metra will offer hourly shuttle trains during the Democratic National Convention that will whisk conventioneers and others between O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Union Station in about 35 minutes.

The shuttle trains will operate in addition to regular service on the North Central Service Line, whose O’Hare Transfer Station is located by O’Hare’s multimodal rental car facility. That station can be reached from the airport’s terminals via the Airport Transit System, also known as the people mover. The shuttle schedule can be found here.

 “This service will be a much faster and far less stressful option than driving or taking a cab or rideshare on the Kennedy, which is even more jammed than usual due to an ongoing construction project,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Jim Derwinski. “And with a one-way fare of $3.75, the trains will be significantly less expensive, too.”

Here’s what you need to know about using the shuttles:

  • Metra is the commuter railroad that serves Chicago and its suburbs over 11 lines in a six-county area. Its North Central Service is the line that runs between the O’Hare Transfer Station and Chicago Union Station downtown.
  • Metra stations do not have turnstiles; rather, customers simply board the trains and, when asked, show their pre-purchased tickets to the conductor, or buy one from the conductor with cash.
  • Seats are unreserved but there will be plenty of capacity on the shuttles.
  • The one-way fare between O’Hare and Union Station is $3.75.
  • Tickets can be purchased before boarding via the Ventra app, which is available for free download from the App Store or Google Play, or from ticket vending machines at Union Station. There are no vending machines at the O’Hare Transfer Station, so customers boarding there must use the app or pay with cash on the train. There are multiple vending machines available at Chicago Union Station.
  • Tickets bought in the Ventra app are stored in the Metra Tickets area of the app (in the bottom right corner of the home screen). Customers have to press “Use” to activate the ticket when boarding the train. The ticket will then appear on their phone screen. The conductor will ask them to tap the screen; when they do, a pattern of rectangles will appear that will verify the ticket is valid.

Metra would like to thank two freight railroad partners for recognizing the importance of the convention to the Chicago economy and working with us to facilitate the temporary O’Hare service: Canadian National, which owns some of the tracks over which the NCS operates, and CPKC, which dispatches trains on another portion of the route.