A plan to provide an express train from downtown to O’Hare appears to be back on track. Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced the City of Chicago plans to push ahead with a final design for the project by hiring on an engineering firm. The original plan dates back to former Mayor Richard Daley, but was never fully developed.
The proposal is gaining new life again, though, due to efforts by Mayor Emanuel and Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans. Although the cost of building an express train to the airport hasn’t been released, some predict it could cost $1 billion. Evans reportedly hopes the project will be funded by, and operated by, private funds.
The aviation commissioner did put a price point, of sorts, on passenger service. She expects it to cost between $25-$35 to travel from downtown to O’Hare, with about a 25 minute ride.
While it’s becoming more and more common for airport travelers to use express trains, few are currently found in North America. The exception is Toronto, where a new express train takes off every 15 minutes.