By Tracy Swartz
With the O’Hare Blue Line station closed for the “foreseeable future,” according to transit officials, there are few alternatives for riders traveling to and from that airport beyond the shuttle buses.
A CTA Blue Line train derailed at the O’Hare stop early Monday morning, injuring more than 30 riders and crashing into the station’s escalator. The stop is expected to be closed into Tuesday as investigators determine why the train derailed.
In the meantime, the CTA has been running shuttle buses every five to six minutes between the Rosemont stop, which is the next station from O’Hare, to the O’Hare bus terminal, the CTA said. Train service between Rosemont and Forest Park has not been affected, according to the agency.
The O’Hare station sees about 9,900 weekday riders, according to November ridership data, the most recent report the CTA has posted. The CTA has told riders to budget an extra 10 to 15 minutes for shuttle service when traveling to/from O’Hare.
Riders don’t have to pay the $5 pay-per-use fare from O’Hare. Shuttle buses are free to Rosemont, where a $2.25 fare is required for train service.
If the derailment happened at any other stop, there would be more options for riders beyond the shuttle buses. Eight CTA bus routes serve the Midway Orange Line stop during the day. These buses travel north, south, east and west.
The O’Hare stop is one of a few CTA stations not served by a CTA bus. Two Pace buses drop off and pick up at O’Hare.
The No. 250-Dempster Street route travels between the O’Hare Kiss-n-Fly area and the Davis Purple Line station in Evanston with a stop at the Yellow Line.
The No. 330-Mannheim/LaGrange Road line spans between the Kiss-n-Fly and Archer and Harlem Avenues in Summit with a stop at the LaGrange Road Metra station on the BNSF line between Chicago and Aurora. Though the fare is only $1.75, these Pace buses do not run as often as the Blue Line.
For riders hoping to avoid Blue Line service altogether, there is Metra service along the North Central Service line between Chicago and Antioch that has a remote O’Hare drop-off.