rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:31 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 30):

It would be easy to extend the airport tram to the Metra station, but by the time you did that, you'd probably not save a lot of time over the CTA.

There are plans to extend the ATS to parking lot F, which would put you right near the Metra station, but those have been plans for years, and I don't know if any progress has been made. That whole area *is* under considerable redevelopment, so maybe something is coming, but I haven't seen it since they moved the cell phone lot (which is much nicer now).

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 48):
The reality is that most of the passengers on the Blue line are actually going to O'Hare. Leaving the loop, 95% of passengers get off at some other stop other than O'Hare.

Presumably you meant "are *not* actually going to O'Hare". That's true, but express doesn't (usually) mean just two stops - very often they bypass just the smaller stops. At the northwest end of the blue line (just before ORD), the Cumberland and Rosemont stops service very large park-and-ride facilities. Still, the question is where would you put the extra track - the northwest leg of the blue line is three-quarters subway tunnel or the median of I-90. Expanding either would be an utterly massive undertaking. Nor do the elevated parts usually have a lot of room to grow horizontally.

At least the Metra NCS line is triple track, but I don't think they run any true expresses on there (and there's considerable freight traffic).
 
YXwatcherMKE
Posts: 384
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:17 pm

Quoting knope2001 (Reply 47):
They actually do -- it's $7.50 each way and I've done it twice (once each way) -- quite a bit cheaper than a taxi. You can get the tickets online or at the ticket machine. With trains about every two hours it's not exactly convenient but not completely unworkable in some instances. I do think the huge majority of boardings at the MKE Airport station are to/from Chicago or Glenview, not downtown Milwaukee.

Thanks for the Info, To bad I no longer live in Milwaukee County any more so it would not help me any more, but it is nice to know for family and friends that live out of state to tell them to use it when possible.

Quoting thekorean (Reply 49):
Plenty of elevators. When I was in Chicago and used CTA, most stations had it.

Due to ADA laws (American Disability Act) any public access structure must have ramp and/or elevators for the disabled to use to enter/leave the structure.
I miss the 60's & 70's when you felt like a guest on the plane not cattle like today
 
EWRandMDW
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:02 pm

Quoting YXwatcherMKE (Reply 51):
Plenty of elevators. When I was in Chicago and used CTA, most stations had it.

Due to ADA laws (American Disability Act) any public access structure must have ramp and/or elevators for the disabled to use to enter/leave the structure.

CTA is at present either renovating older stations or consolidating 2 nearby older stations into a new single station and eventually all will be ADA compliant.
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:16 am

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 7):
Actually it's faster than driving most of the time. They've recently refurbished the tracks to reduce the number of slow zones so the train runs at 60mph for much of the time.

60 mph longitudinal speed, probably another 30 mph of side-to-side swaying.   

Quoting kngkyle (Reply 12):
They are working on a $500 million project to reduce slow zones and improve signaling that would shave 10 minutes off O'Hare to Downtown trip, bringing it down to 35-40 minutes. I think that is quick enough to not warrant a hugely expensive dedicated HSR line or double tracking of the blue line.


It would still make it really crowded.    Is there no possibility, with advanced signaling, to put express trains along the same tracks as the local ones?
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
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seat55a
Posts: 218
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:51 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 53):
Is there no possibility, with advanced signaling, to put express trains along the same tracks as the local ones?

Look at the timetables. From 4 am to midnight, there is a train every 10 minutes or better. In peak times the line is already at capacity, with a train every 3 minutes or so. That works out to about one train per station. Only a full express track would make any difference.

But even where express tracks are completely separated, over such short distances you don't get much overall reduction in trip time if your destination is not an express stop.
 
luckyone
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:37 am

Quoting micstatic (Reply 35):
Is it me, or is everybody obsessed about ord when thinking of Chicago? The midway train ride just seems a ton easier as somebody who had done both. Thoughts?

Totally depends on where you live. I live equidistant between the two airports time-wise, but O'Hare is usually a more pleasant experience because a bus drops off a block away from my front door that deposits me at the Blue Line. Getting to Midway either requires a longer walk to the Red Line, after which I would transfer to the Orange Line, or taking one of the LSD Express buses down into the Loop, which can be congested during rush hour. It's not a big deal, but if given the choice and the price is equal I will choose O'Hare, unless I'm booking a trip on short notice with inclement weather. Then Midway wins, because they have a less-complicated layout and fewer flights to gunk up their operations. Now, if lived closer to the Red or Brown lines, then Midway might get more of my business, though once in the airport O'Hare is more pleasant IMO.

Quoting HoMSaR (Reply 36):

Express trains on the Blue Line won't work. During rush hour, the trains are 3 minutes apart and so you'd just catch up to the train in front of you.
Quoting IAHWorldflyer (Reply 29):
To the Chicagoans on this thread, has the CTA ever considered making some Blue line trains express to Clark and Lake?

I've seen express trains run, but it's incidental to the train in front getting backed up for whatever reason and needing to get out of the way of the train behind it, and not planned.

Quoting StrandedAtMKG (Reply 20):
As an American from a small town who only travels to big cities once in a blue moon

Travel to the cities more often.

Quoting StrandedAtMKG (Reply 20):
I've never understood why people get so worked up about public transportation to and from airports.

Because not having to worry about one's car and then pay for it to be parked is a considerable burden lifted. Many people also don't own cars. Public transportation also is usually consistent in terms of travel times, which is certainly not the case of road travel in big cities. If one is travelling into a city and does not need to leave a city, public transportation can save time and money eliminating rental cars, and more parking. I went to Minneapolis in February and enjoyed an entire weekend without my car. One or two destinations took probably an extra 20 minutes or so using public transportation, but not dealing with a rental car is pleasant.

Quoting StrandedAtMKG (Reply 20):
Are there really people on the bus/train with their entire families and a week's worth of luggage on a regular basis?

Yes. It's not that difficult really, you just get on with it. If you're a prudent packer it's not an issue.
 
WA707atMSP
Posts: 1776
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:16 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:58 pm

Quoting DiscoverCSG (Reply 5):
People keep saying that the Heathrow Express is better than the Piccadilly Line. Yes, it's a more pleasant ride, but it only goes to Paddington Station, which is not the final destination of most people arriving in London. Transfers are still necessary (whether to the Tube or a bus or a cab).

This problem should go away in four years when London's Crossrail opens, and Heathrow Express trains can continue past Paddington Station to Bond Street and Liverpool Street.
 
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United787
Posts: 2865
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:27 pm

Quoting thekorean (Reply 49):
Plenty of elevators. When I was in Chicago and used CTA, most stations had it.
Quoting YXwatcherMKE (Reply 51):
Due to ADA laws (American Disability Act) any public access structure must have ramp and/or elevators for the disabled to use to enter/leave the structure.
Quoting EWRandMDW (Reply 52):
CTA is at present either renovating older stations or consolidating 2 nearby older stations into a new single station and eventually all will be ADA compliant.

Yes, but the CTA has been very slow in upgrading their stations and so a 1/3 of the stations in the system are still aren't ADA compliant, 25 years after ADA was enacted.

http://abc7chicago.com/news/uphill-b...-not-disability-compliant/1090632/
 
ckfred
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:18 pm

The reason for the lack of rail service to the O'Hare Transfer station is that for many years, that rail line (the old Soo Line) never had commuter service. The rail lines that had frequent commuter rail service were the C&NW, the Milwaukee Road, the Burlington, the Rock Island, and the Illinois Central.

Since the creation of the RTA around 1973, other rail lines that had been freight only since the creation of Amtrak or earlier have gotten commuter rail service. But, the service is limited, compared to the railroads I listed.

It seems to me that the rail service to ORD and beyond, called the North Central line, started in the late 1990s, after federal money was spent to make the line double track, with new signals and stations. Basically, the line is filler for the Northwestern's Northwest line and the Milwaukee Road's North line. Presumably, a person who needs to travel to the Lopp at non-rush time or on a weekend can take one of the other lines, because tickets can be used on various Metra lines.

By the same token, the CTA line to ORD comes in under the parking garage. A person can walk to Terminals 1,2, or 3 from the CTA station.

From O'Hare Transfer, a person has to take a bus to the Airport Transit station in remote parking, then ride a train to a terminal. To some extent, the shorter time on the Metra train is lost on getting from the Metra station to the terminal.

Now that the cell phone lot and parking lot near O'Hare Transfer is closed, because of construction of the new rental car garage, the bus service between O'Hare Transfer and the Airport Transit station may be less reliable.
 
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thekorean
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:28 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 57):

So is NYC subway. Most stations here are handicap inaccessible.
 
slider
Posts: 7422
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:13 pm

Quoting ORDTLV2414 (Thread starter):
The CTA blue line connects ORD with Chicago but this is a slow and ardeous journey.

She ain't pretty but she gets the job done.

I've probably ridden the ORD-downtown Blue Line more times than I care to remember and it's still the slickest way to get to/from, especially when there's traffic, which is all the time.

There are sometimes the homeless/weird people onboard, but it's predictable, affordable and reliable.
 
FlyBoy84
Posts: 330
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:23 pm

I have taken the train to downtown from O'Hare! Long and arduous is an understatement, but like slider said, it gets the job done!

What would be interesting, though, is also improving O'Hare-North Shore rail access as currently the only way is to go downtown, take a bus, or by car.
 
chicawgo
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:09 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:18 pm

Quoting FlyBoy84 (Reply 61):
I have taken the train to downtown from O'Hare! Long and arduous is an understatement, but like slider said, it gets the job done!

Again, it is now 35 minutes. Have you ridden it recently? If you think that's long and arduous try Dallas' new light rail to DFW.
 
FlyBoy84
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:35 pm

Quoting chicawgo (Reply 62):
Again, it is now 35 minutes. Have you ridden it recently? If you think that's long and arduous try Dallas' new light rail to DFW.

IKR...I mean, I could just imagine what that's like with Dallas being as spread out as it is and the light rail trains being what they are! They probably make The El seem spacious by comparison. I guess it's just the anticipation of wanting to get where you're going.

MDW is a pretty decent trip - although I know it's not as far.

Are there any plans to connect North Shore directly to O'Hare via Howard Street/Skokie Swift?
 
hoya
Posts: 547
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:25 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:37 pm

Quoting chicawgo (Reply 62):
Again, it is now 35 minutes. Have you ridden it recently? If you think that's long and arduous try Dallas' new light rail to DFW.

Eh, more like 40 - 45 minutes still. Just the other day, took me 35 minutes to get from Clark/Lake to the Cumberland stop. Still, much better than what it was a few years ago.
Hoya Saxa!!
 
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thekorean
Posts: 1771
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:44 pm

Quoting hoya (Reply 64):

40 minutes is honestly nothing but then again I live in New York. It takes ages to get to JFK by subway. LIRR is expensive.
 
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United787
Posts: 2865
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:04 pm

Quoting FlyBoy84 (Reply 63):
Are there any plans to connect North Shore directly to O'Hare via Howard Street/Skokie Swift?

Not that I have heard. There are plans to extend the Yellow Line (Skokie Swift) north to Old Orchard. You can get to ORD pretty easily from the North Shore via car (except from Evanston). I can't see much demand for a train connection. Plus the train line r.o.w. that ran NE/SW from Jefferson Park area to the downtown Evanston area has been abandoned and built over in many places.
 
chicawgo
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:09 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:13 pm

Quoting FlyBoy84 (Reply 63):
IKR...I mean, I could just imagine what that's like with Dallas being as spread out as it is and the light rail trains being what they are! They probably make The El seem spacious by comparison.

Even after the arduous journey of getting there, it drops you off at A and signage directs you to take the terminal bus to your desired terminal. It was so unimaginably ridiculous I could not stop laughing throughout the entire trip.

Quoting FlyBoy84 (Reply 63):
I guess it's just the anticipation of wanting to get where you're going.

You are right that it feels long. I wonder if it's because there are so many stops.

Quoting hoya (Reply 64):
Eh, more like 40 - 45 minutes still. Just the other day, took me 35 minutes to get from Clark/Lake to the Cumberland stop. Still, much better than what it was a few years ago.

I suppose it depends on when you go and if there are people working on track. But I clocked it at 32 minutes from Clark and Lake a few weeks ago. It has never taken me more than 40 minutes in the past year.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 13993
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:26 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 57):
Yes, but the CTA has been very slow in upgrading their stations and so a 1/3 of the stations in the system are still aren't ADA compliant, 25 years after ADA was enacted.

To be fair, many of the stations that do not comply are more than 100 years old.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 58):
It seems to me that the rail service to ORD and beyond, called the North Central line, started in the late 1990s, after federal money was spent to make the line double track, with new signals and stations.

When the North Central Line opened (which IIRC was January, 1998), large portions of it were still single-tracked.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
FlyBoy84
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:48 pm

@ chicawgo re: DFW light rail

   ridiculous...might as well go by car and pull right up to near the gate!

And yes...the ride to The Loop feels like such a long trip because of all the stations and the fact that a lot of the trip is the monotony of riding the middle of the Kennedy. But 32 minutes would NOT be bad at all.

Quoting United787 (Reply 66):
Not that I have heard. There are plans to extend the Yellow Line (Skokie Swift) north to Old Orchard. You can get to ORD pretty easily from the North Shore via car (except from Evanston). I can't see much demand for a train connection. Plus the train line r.o.w. that ran NE/SW from Jefferson Park area to the downtown Evanston area has been abandoned and built over in many places.

Ha ha...Evanston is where I was talking about! I have driven it fairly quickly going by way of Dodge/Emerson/McCormick/Dempster/Edens/Wilson exit/Lawrence/Kennedy/O'Hare. Under 30 minutes in very good traffic. I live in St. Louis, but I drive like a Chicagoan   

Wow...my grandmother used to live up the street from the abandoned rail line you speak of near Dodge Avenue! Wasn't it still in use in the early 1970s?

I thought there was a plan at one time to branch off from the Skokie Swift out to ORD...I seem to remember a family member talking about it. A line to Old Orchard would be nice since there never seems to be anywhere to park there!

[Edited 2015-11-30 13:49:38]

[Edited 2015-11-30 13:54:30]
 
chicawgo
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:09 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:53 pm

Quoting FlyBoy84 (Reply 69):
A line to Old Orchard would be nice since there never seems to be anywhere to park there!

They tried to do it and the high school and community threw a fit saying they were concerned about safety. You just can't get anything done anymore in this country.
 
FlyBoy84
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:07 pm

Quoting chicawgo (Reply 70):
They tried to do it and the high school and community threw a fit saying they were concerned about safety. You just can't get anything done anymore in this country.

  

NIMBYs...blockers! That addition would've been sweet.
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 3533
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:10 pm

Quoting chicawgo (Reply 70):
They tried to do it and the high school and community threw a fit saying they were concerned about safety. You just can't get anything done anymore in this country.
Quoting FlyBoy84 (Reply 71):
NIMBYs...blockers! That addition would've been sweet.

One of those times that it's "better to ask forgiveness than for permission".
 
FlyBoy84
Posts: 330
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:13 pm

^^^^

One of those times I wish A.net had a Like button!
 
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United787
Posts: 2865
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RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:31 pm

Quoting FlyBoy84 (Reply 69):
Ha ha...Evanston is where I was talking about! I have driven it fairly quickly going by way of Dodge/Emerson/McCormick/Dempster/Edens/Wilson exit/Lawrence/Kennedy/O'Hare. Under 30 minutes in very good traffic. I live in St. Louis, but I drive like a Chicagoan

Evanston is a great community if you don't need to go ORD or anywhere west... kind of landlocked.
 
ckfred
Posts: 5148
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:28 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 74):
Evanston is a great community if you don't need to go ORD or anywhere west... kind of landlocked.

You are so right. I've lived in the western suburbs my whole life. Anyone who drives to and from Evanston complains that there is no easy and fast way to get there. About the only useful short cut is to exit 294 at Dempster, then take Gross Point to Golf or Central.
 
luckyone
Posts: 2815
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:29 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 75):
You are so right. I've lived in the western suburbs my whole life. Anyone who drives to and from Evanston complains that there is no easy and fast way to get there. About the only useful short cut is to exit 294 at Dempster, then take Gross Point to Golf or Central.

The high dollar taxpayer may also like it that way.

If you live further east it can also be easier to just go up LSD and take Sheridan road along the lake.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 4005
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:29 pm

I've traveled to ORD once. I quickly found the train and went downtown. Am i missing something?
 
N1120A
Posts: 26496
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:05 am

Quoting DiscoverCSG (Reply 5):
People keep saying that the Heathrow Express is better than the Piccadilly Line. Yes, it's a more pleasant ride, but it only goes to Paddington Station, which is not the final destination of most people arriving in London. Transfers are still necessary (whether to the Tube or a bus or a cab).

Yeah - I also find the Heathrow Express both expensive and overrated. One is often better off just sitting on the Piccadilly.

Quoting DiscoverCSG (Reply 5):

The same would be true with even the best direct rail link from ORD to the Loop, which is why I'm content with the Blue Line for my occasional ORD ground transportation needs.

Well, Chicago is more Loop-centric than London is West/Central London-centric.

Quoting Mir (Reply 30):

The only real issue is that the trains are small and it can be a pain if you have luggage. That would be a big advantage of Metra - you could have purpose-built trains with luggage racks and the like. But that's not enough justification for the cost IMO.

Well, they could always reconfigure the cars to have spots for luggage, like the Piccadilly Line.

Quoting thekorean (Reply 39):
VERY few cities have 24/7 rail service to the city.

New York does.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
FlyBoy84
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:29 pm

Quoting luckyone (Reply 76):
The high dollar taxpayer may also like it that way.If you live further east it can also be easier to just go up LSD and take Sheridan road along the lake.

All of my family who live there take Sheridan/LSD...it's mostly a waste of time to go west to Edens to go downtown, although it's okay in good traffic.

I'd also say there needs to be one E-W freeway Edens to the west.

I'd like to take the ride now from ORD to The Loop - just to see how much faster it is now.

[Edited 2015-12-02 07:31:36]
 
luckyone
Posts: 2815
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:01 pm

Quoting FlyBoy84 (Reply 79):
I'd also say there needs to be one E-W freeway Edens to the west.

Unless they can figure a way to route that South of O'Hare it's unlikely that will happen any time soon, as the area through which that would be routed is very high tax dollar real estate, and nobody in that area will want a new freeway near their home.
 
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United787
Posts: 2865
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:19 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 78):
New York does.

LGA doesn't have rail service.

JFK has rail service but you have to connect from the MTA subway to the AirTrain.

EWR has rail service but you have to connect from NJ Transit to the AirTrain or double connect from PATH to NJ Transit to the AirTrain.

In my mind, these are both inferior options from what Chicago has to offer with Orange Line to MDW and Blue Line to ORD.

It is still surprising to me that NYC doesn't have direct rail service to it's airport terminals given how large and extensive their subway system is!
 
N1120A
Posts: 26496
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:19 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 81):
JFK has rail service but you have to connect from the MTA subway to the AirTrain.

JFK's service is 24 hours. That it isn't a one-seat ride is pretty minor.

Quoting United787 (Reply 81):
It is still surprising to me that NYC doesn't have direct rail service to it's airport terminals given how large and extensive their subway system is!

The issue is that much of the system was built before the airports were there.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
chicawgo
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:09 pm

RE: Connecting ORD With Downtown Faster

Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:52 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 82):
JFK's service is 24 hours. That it isn't a one-seat ride is pretty minor.

You have to be kidding. A one-seat ride is a minor difference? It's pretty much the most important difference. You're talking about people with luggage, stress, unfamiliarity, etc. The AirTrain adds CONSERVATIVELY 30 minutes to the trip schlepping luggage. Extra escalators, elevators, walking, etc.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 82):
The issue is that much of the system was built before the airports were there.

I'm not sure what your point is here... Most of Chicago system was built before airports were there too. The El was extended to ORD in the 70s or 80s.

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