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Car rentals at Chicago Union Station

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MikeM

OBS Chief
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Jun 2, 2009
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Wichita Falls TX
I'm considering another trip to Chicago, taking the train up and flying back in March. In the past I always rented cars at the sta tion which was very convenient. Now that the parking garage is getting demolished, I understand cars can no longer be rented at the station. Has anyone had recent rental experience in downtown Chicago near the station? Or if I do it do I suck it up and go to the airport somehow(?) and rent there? The Eagle lands near 2 although with Amtrak arrival times can be aspirational which scares me about locations that close at 5. Any thoughts / advice?
 

neroden

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Feb 23, 2014
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Ithaca, NY
There are several car rental places within a block or two of Union Station; I'd walk to one of them.
 

penguinflies

Service Attendant
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Dec 30, 2015
Messages
108
Budget and avis relocated to franklin between jackson and van buruen because the amtrak garage was demolished. Hope this helps.

You can also rent from/ hold a free cancellation reservation at midway airport. Just a thought.
 

NES28

Train Attendant
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Jan 18, 2019
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Enterprise is only coming from 2 blocks away. All of the major companies have offices nearby.
 

MikeM

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Jun 2, 2009
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Wichita Falls TX
After running the numbers I realized the downtown rentals would effectively be double the airport rate. So I'll be taking CTA to O Hare and renting there. 40 9r 50 minutes, a new adventure, and my return flight is from o'hare so that nailed it. Still hard to believe Amtrak wouldn't do something to keep accessible re n.y talks in the station, but here we are. Just hope no changes to dining cars in the next two months...
 

NES28

Train Attendant
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Jan 18, 2019
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I work in downtown Chicago and occasionally need to rent a car. My experience with Enterprise is that rates are much lower if you call one of the downtown offices than calling the national call center.
 

John Bredin

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Dec 18, 2007
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suburban Chicago (Buffalo Grove)
The thing about renting a car in downtown Chicago is that hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans who have cars park them at a train station and take a train when they go downtown because they don't want to fight expressway traffic. :p In addition to O'Hare, I'm sure there's plenty of Metra stations near an expressway or tollway, but avoiding the worst of the in-city expressways, where a car rental agency will pick someone up.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
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Location
Chicago Union Station
I live across the street from Union Station and regretted the loss of the car rentals. However, that forced us to use the Enterprise at Presidential Towers at Madison and Jefferson and we are delighted with the much better service we receive there. Highly recommend it.
 

MARC Rider

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Apr 5, 2011
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Baltimore. MD
The last time I rented a car at the station, I had to spend an inordinate amount of time creeping along in heavy traffic on the freeways. As I was finally rolling by O'Hare Airport, it occurred to me that I could have just taken the Blue Line from Clinton to O'Hare and picked up my car there.

It seems to me that if you're traveling in the city, public transit or taxi/uber will get you anywhere. If you're going to the 'burbs and need a car, might as well go out to the airport and skip the downtown traffic.
 

zephyr17

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Jul 22, 2009
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Washington State
Of course Chicago has heavy traffic. I am usually heading to Indiana, so going to O'Hare is just out of the way. Getting a car downtown and heading south to the Chicago Skyway on the Dan Ryan works reasonably well for me. Of course, I spent a number of years commuting in LA so traffic does not cross my eyes.
 

Palmetto

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Miami
Union Station to ORD is a two-seat ride, unless you like to walk between conveyances. Not at all convenient when toting luggage. Back when, in the 90's, I had to take a taxi to the downtown Hertz office to get a car. Hertz paid for the taxi. Just to note: since Chicago also has MDW, if you're driving south and/or east, Midway would be the airport to go to.
 

MikeM

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Jun 2, 2009
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Location
Wichita Falls TX
Union Station to ORD is a two-seat ride, unless you like to walk between conveyances. Not at all convenient when toting luggage. Back when, in the 90's, I had to take a taxi to the downtown Hertz office to get a car. Hertz paid for the taxi. Just to note: since Chicago also has MDW, if you're driving south and/or east, Midway would be the airport to go to.
I thought it was a single seat ride from Clinton on the Blue Line (?) straight to Ohare, then I'd have to get to the rental car shuttle vans. But about a two block walk in March in Chicago mid day, hoping that wouldn't be too bad of an experience.
 

Palmetto

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I thought it was a single seat ride from Clinton on the Blue Line (?) straight to Ohare, then I'd have to get to the rental car shuttle vans. But about a two block walk in March in Chicago mid day, hoping that wouldn't be too bad of an experience.
Yes, true. Thanks for the correction!
 
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