Plans for O’Hare Express Rail Move Forward

Next month, the city will chose an engineer team to create designs that factor in terminal options, potential routes, amenities, and project timelines

O'Hare Express Rail Renderings
City of Chicago

The city announced Sunday that Mayor Rahm Emanuel will take the preliminary steps to create an express rail that would transport downtown commuters to and from O’Hare International Airport.

Next month, the city will chose an engineer team to create designs that factor in terminal options, potential routes, amenities, and project timelines, according to news release. Negotiations with “relevant stakeholders” will take place this year, and a contract bid for the final design could be awarded in 2017.

If an O’Hare express service sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The city has floated the idea of an airport express rail since Mayor Richard Daley was in office, according to the Chicago Tribune. Past ideas included bypass tracks along the Blue Line and use of a Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way near the Kennedy Expressway.

The Tribune reported that if the rail is built, tickets would cost approximately $30 or $35. Cheaper monthly passes and family discounts might also become available.

The city did not release details on an estimated price for the express rail, or specifics on who would pay project.

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