There are many Ways to get to/from Chicago to Ohare or Midway Airports and to get around Chicago. I have find out that if you need go place to place best way is to hop on a Cab for short trips. Cabby are very knowledgeable in Chicago. On the other hand do not and i mean do not take a cab service to/from Chicago Airports. First of all the wait is too long and second it cost almost the same as a car service. I have had my friend come into Chicago often and he use a car service by the name of American Coach Limousine it cost around $49 to get to downtown form O'Hare which is not bad at all comparing to Cab which cost around $42 or even more depending on the traffic.
hailing a cab and riding in a chicago taxi cab is easy and here are some tips about taxis in chiago: Chicago taxi cabs don’t have a uniform make or color, so just look for the light on the top of the cab. The Chicago Taxi flag down rates are: $2.25 first 1/9 of a mile, $0.20 each additional 1/9 of a mile, $0.20 for each 36 seconds of waiting time. $1.00 first additional passenger, $0.50 each additional passenger plus a 10- 15% tip and the toll fee if you go via the highways and to the airports too. The cab should also have proof of registration and a photo ID posted for the passenger to see. Taxis in Chicago also generally don’t mind when you have more than four whereas they are often very strict with this in other cities. Drivers required to take credit cards, though they sure don’t like it. They get charged and don’t receive their tips as easily when passengers use credit cards, so some like to pretend their machine is broken or they don’t take them. Argue with them calmly if they put up a fight, and when in doubt call the cab company to complain.
some chicago taxi cab companies are:
American-United Taxi - 773-248-7600
Checker Cab - 312-243-2537
Yellow Cab - 312-829-4222
Flash Cab - 773-561-1444
In my experience Taxis are a safe and effective way to travel around the city. The taxi's I have used have always taken the most direct route, and been friendly and helpful. The prices are reasonable, and there are so many that you never have to wait long to flag one down.
Trying to traverse Michigan Avenue in a taxi is generally a waste of time, however, since the traffic is always very busy on the magnificent mile. Pedestrians seem to out-walk the cars!
When you flag down a taxi you will incur a "flag fee" of $2.25, prices are then $0.20 for each 9th of a mile or 36 seconds waiting. The first additional passenger is charged at $1.00, with each successive passenger adding $0.20. For long journeys ask for a price before setting off. A taxi from O'Hare airport should cost around $35, from Midway the fee should be around $25.
Taxis available for hire are supposed to be indicated by their roof-box being lit, however we found no real correlation between lit roof lights and taxi availability.
All taxis in Chicago are required to accept credit cards, and in the few occasions I have needed to use a card it has never been a problem. Tipping is usual, around 10-15% is fair, but is not compulsory!
Some Local Cab Companies (Might be useful in less popular districts):
American-United Taxi - +1 (773) 248 7600
Checker Cab - +1 (312) 243 2537
Flash Cab - +1 (773) 561 1444
Yellow Cab - +1 (312) 829 4222
I used taxis in Chicago four times during my stay in the downtown area and, in all cases, there was no trouble at all in quickly finding an available cab and being delivered where I wanted to go without undue traffic delays. My first experience was in getting the few blocks from where I exited the CTA train to my hotel - it only cost about $6 with a tip (the meter starts off at about $2.50).
On a couple of the rides after that, I was able to have some good conversations with two of the drivers after I initiated things. One guy was from Senegal (he sounded West African) and the other from Somalia (he looked like he was from the Horn of Africa). Once they found out that I had worked in Africa for 3 years the talk was flowing freely both ways and the trips were over in no time at all! I was impressed by the taxi system in Chicago. The only hitch a group of us had was in getting to the baseball game at Cellular Field, because the Somali driver 'heard' our instructions as Solders Field! However, it didn't take to long to set things right!
When leaving Chicago, I took an early morning cab from my hotel to O'Hare - costing $40 with a tip, a much more pleasant ride than my earlier train experience.
Hey, it's an affordable and fun way to get on the Chicago River. It's not the most efficient - service is limited in the number of stops and the frequency of trips. But for $2.00, I'm not complaining. And it's a great idea to use the river for people moving.
There are three stops: Michigan Ave., La Salle/Clark, and Madison. Tickets can be purchased on board the boat. Or if you are a regular commuter you can purchase packages of ten tickets in advance.
I have to admit that I'm not sure if this service operates all year, or just in the warmer months. Best check ahead for details.
If you are staying downtown, it is fairly easy to find a taxi cab. Unlike cities like Denver and San Francisco, Chicago has an abundance of cabs at most hours.
Both distance and time determine your fare. Rates are a flat fee of $1.50, and 20 cents for each additional 1/6 of a mile. Additional passengers between the ages of 12 and 65 cost $1- but it is really up to the driver as to whether or not they add on this extra. They cannot charge you for baggage. There is a $1 fee for the taxi to go to/from one of the airports.
Based on the quality of service, tips are at the discretion of the customer. A cab ride between O'Hare Airport and Chicago costs approx. $25-$30. From Midway Airport to downtown the cost runs between $20-$25. You can also get a shared ride from the airport which costs about $15.
If you do need to call a cab, these are the most popular cab companies:
American-United Taxi -- (773) 248-7600
Checker Cab -- (312) 243-2537
Yellow Cab -- (312) 829-4222
Flash Cab -- (773) 561-1444
I highly recommend using myshareride.com for airport transportation. It's less expensive than a cab and much better than an airport shuttle. Basically, you can share a town car with another passenger and split the fare. Pretty cool!
I prefer to walk so I don't take cabs often but when I have, I've never encountered being overcharged but I have had cabbies that don't know where they are going. Know the name of the place where you are going but also know the address and the cross street.
Although not as bad as New York City, I have been in cabs where I've feared for my life (note to pedestrians, never, ever, assume a cab or a CTA bus will stop even if you have the right of way), cabbies get the bulk of their fare just by getting you into the cab so getting you there fast might be more important than getting you there in one piece.
As of 5/11/05, the meter should start at $2.25, $1.00 extra for the first passenger, $.50 for each additional passenger, $1.80 for each additional mile plus time charges of .20 for each 36 seconds. For updated fares, click on the website below, go to Department of Consumer Services and find taxi cab information.
There is usually no problem getting a cab in the tourist area or business district but should you be venturing outside of it, you might need to call for one.
Chicago has an atlas of taxi drivers. I rode in so many (I was on expenses and being lazy) that I got to hear each of their life stories. Not that they force it on you, I just like to chat. They were from all over the world, from Jordan, Senegal, Palestine, El Salvador... and those were just the ones I can remember. Calling a cab was as easy as sticking my finger out and waiting about two seconds, and all the taxi drivers I met were totally straight up. The same price for the same journey every time.
Why drive around in Chicago traffic and pay for parking when you can easily take a taxi to any far off destinations within the city? Our hotel was in a central location so walking was an option most of the time, but we did find ourselves hopping into cabs once in a while when the winter weather became too much or we had wandered too far from our homebase. We didn't have any problems with the taxis or the drivers.
Take a taxi or a car (from O'Hare) on any Expressway into town and sit in the front seat in order to enjoy the city coming closer and closer, majesticly. It is only fun before 4pm or so. Then there is no traffic jam, usually there is plenty of traffic, also in the morning of course.
While it appears both snow & taxis are fairly common to the Chicago area - it also appears that the two do not go together during snowstorms. I recently discovered to my pain (its down to you to judge whether the pain was the cold or my ears ringing to the complaints of my girlfriend) that taxis don't like running in the snow. Not sure exactly why, whether it is too dangerous or just not worth the hassle, but they don't. Which is a bit of a pain if you've just gone for a meal in Greektown and have to walk all the way back to Michigan & Wacker!!!
Even with the recent increase in fares, the taxis in Chicago are still far cheaper than those of many other major US cities. Charges are $1.50 at the drop of the flag, $1.20 per mile and 50¢ for each additional passenger. Cabs can be hailed anytime in the Loop and other central neighborhoods; otherwise you can call Yellow at (312)829-4222 or Checker taxis at (312) 243-2537).
Don't let the airport taxis gouge you! It will cost about $35 (before tip) to go from O'Hare downtown - takes 25 min on a good day! During rush hour going from the city back to the airport it can take over an hour - plan ahead, or check out the train. If the cab tries to overcharge you (once they took me on a roundabout route and charged $50), before paying just let the hotel person opening the door know - they hold a lot of power over the cabbies and will 'negotiate' for you!
Shuttles can be arranged for 10-15 bucks (per person), but you will have to register at the desk near baggage claim, wait as much as 30 min for it to leave, and go on an expedition as they drop everyone else off first. If you have two people it costs only a few bucks more for a cab.
Chicago is not that big of city if travelling by taxi or subway. Both are cheap compared to NYC and Washington DC.
I would not recommend taking a taxi from or to O'Hare due to traffic on the Kennedy.