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Old 04-14-2013, 01:34 PM
Mdcastle Mdcastle is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Best Place to Park and Ride in Chicago

I'll be visiting your great city next week, as usual when I drive in I'll be staying in a motel way out in the western or northwestern suburbs. My destination is the Northwestern University are. I thought I'd park and ride someplace, is there generally space in the "L" lots, or would I need to start on the Metra and then transfer to the "L". We probably won't leave our motel until the tail end of rush our. Alternatively what's the least expensive place to park in the area, I used the Northwestern garage once and IRC it cost like $40.00
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:16 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Check this out:
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:28 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 9,906
When I worked downtown, I took the Blue Line L into the city, getting on at the Forest Park station, which is in the near western suburbs. There are four separate parking lots at the Forest Park station, and, at least when I last took that line during rush hour (about a year and a half ago), there were always parking spaces available there. It's $5 to park in those lots, for 12 hours (but, be forewarned, if your car is there for longer than 12 hours, you may get a ticket).

In the near NW suburbs, there's a massive lot at the Rosemont station on the Blue line (one stop short of the O'Hare terminus of the line), but I don't know how full it gets during weekdays.

With either of those lines, you'd take the Blue Line into the Loop, and transfer to the Purple Line at Clark & Lake -- the Blue Line is in the subway at that point, and the Purple Line runs on the elevated tracks, but it's a free transfer, just going up a couple flights of stairs.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:08 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Western suburbs and northwestern suburbs are two very different locations.

Also do you mean Northwestern University in Evanston or one of their other campuses?

I'll assume you mean the main campus in Evanston.
It wouldn't make a lot of sense to park on the O'Hare portion of Blue Line, ride that SE to the Loop and then turn around and backtrack north to Evanston. If you are in the far western suburbs, the Forest Park portion of the Blue Line could make sense.

Consider parking at the Yellow Line station on Dempster Street in Skokie (just east of I-94). Bring four dollar bills for parking. The lots north of Dempster are cheaper.
From there you can take the Pace Route 250 bus to a few blocks away from Northwestern -- cash fare $1.75 one-way. Alternatively (if you are scared of buses or there is a long wait for the next bus) take the Yellow Line to Howard Street, cross to the other platform, and take a Purple Line train north to Davis Street (the same place to Route 250 bus terminates). Cash fare is $2.25, exact change, one way.

Maybe if you could give us a better idea of where you will be staying, we could give less speculative answers.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:17 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
I forgot to mention that there is also a new garage at the Howard Street Red/Purple/Yellow 'L' station. I don't know how crowded it gets. But you would have to drive through denser traffic to get there. You can take the Purple Line north to Davis Street then.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:15 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
I assumed he meant the downtown campus. Parking is relatively cheap in Evanston.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:13 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I assumed he meant the downtown campus. Parking is relatively cheap in Evanston.
Good point. Kenobi_65 and I were both directing him to Evanston.

More information about exactly where he is going and coming from would be helpful.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:28 PM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
Chicago Savant
Join Date: Jan 2009
Getting to NU's Lake Shore Campus is going to involve a fair number of transfers. Much as I like to promote public transit, you might want to take a quick look at the SpotHero website, which lets you prepay for parking.

If you do come in from the Cumberland Park n Ride on the Blue Line, you might find it easier to transfer to the #66 bus at Chicago station rather than going all the way into the Loop and then north on the 146, 147 or 151 bus. It will save you some time and some walking at the NU campus.
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