Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
The CTA encompasses the underground and elevated (the "el") train systems as well as the city's bus system. Both offer an efficient, low-cost option for travel. If you live in the city, this will most likely become your main method of transportation - many car owners even prefer it to driving. Also, if you're commuting from the suburbs, this may be your best bet for getting around the city while you're downtown.
Kent is located nearest to the Blue Line - Clinton stop (3 blocks); the Green Line - Clinton Stop (5 blocks); and the Orange, Brown, Purple & Pink Lines - Quincy stop (4 blocks).
To figure out the best route to your destination you can call the Travel Information Hotline at (312) 836-7000, visit the CTA website at www.transitchicago.com, or pick up a free map at one of the many el stations. CTA maps show all the bus routes, train lines, and schedules.
Chicago-Kent participates in the CTA's U-Pass program. The U-Pass is a discount fare card that replaces cash for all CTA fares and can be used for unlimited rides on all CTA buses and trains.
The cost of the U-Pass for full-time students will be automatically assessed as part of the Student Activities Fee. To learn more about the U-Pass program, please see our U-Pass page or the CTA's U-Pass site at transitchicago.com/upass/. Please note: Although many evening students commute via the CTA, due to the CTA's structuring of the program, evening students and part-time day students are unable to participate. Students who work full-time for a company may want to contact their human resources department to see if their company participates in a pre-tax transportation program.
METRA (Commuter Rail System)
METRA is the main suburban commuter train system serving northeast Illinois. This is usually your best bet for getting into the city from the suburbs and cities outside of the "greater Chicagoland" area. METRA has 228 stations in northeast Illinois. Train lines connect the city to suburbs and locales as far away as Harvard, IL in McHenry County; Kenosha, WI (home to numerous outlet malls); South Bend, IN; and Aurora and Joliet, IL (home to riverboat gambling).
The METRA usually runs on time and beats sitting in Chicago traffic. It's also a great way to get some studying done during your commute!
A ride on METRA will cost between $1.75 and $5.00, depending on the distance you plan to travel. METRA offers monthly and weekly passes, 10-ride passes (saves 15% off one-way fares and is good for a year), and weekend passes (only $5.00 for unlimited rides for one weekend).
Tickets can be purchased at one of the two train stations, on the web at http://metrarail.com/tickets.html, by mail, or on the train (a $2.00 service fee will be added if a sales clerk was on duty at your time of boarding).
Trains run out of several stations including Union Station (one block east of Chicago-Kent at Adams and Canal) and Ogilvie Station (in the Citibank building two blocks north of Chicago-Kent at Madison and Canal). Remember that different train lines run out of each station. To figure out which train line you need, visit one of the two train stations, call (312) 322-6777 (8:00AM - 5:00PM weekdays), (312) 836-7000 (nights and weekends), or visit their website at www.metrarail.com.
Students who work full-time for a company may want to contact their human resources department to see if their company participates in a pre-tax transportation program.
Taxis will get you almost anywhere you need to go in the city or suburbs; however, this is not usually your cheapest option. The meter starts at $2.25, then increases $.20 for each additional 1/9 of a mile. There is an extra $1.00 charge for the first additional passenger and $.50 for each passenger after that.
A typical ride across the Loop will cost between $5.00 and $7.00 for one passenger during light traffic. There is no extra charge for credit cards or baggage and tipping is optional but recommended. Drivers are not required to carry or change bills larger than $20.00. For trips over five miles the driver may agree to charge either a flat rate or a discount fare. Make sure an agreement is reached before the trip begins.
Negotiating a flat fare to or from O'Hare and Midway airports is a good idea. Average fares from the Loop to O'Hare are around $30.00 to $35.00 and fares to Midway are around $20.00 to $25.00. An additional dollar charge will be added under the State of Illinois Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) Airport Departure Ordinance. Also, keep in mind that trips from either airport to any suburb is time and a half on the meter. Note, you can also take the L to both O'Hare (Blue Line) and Midway (Orange Line).
There are several public parking lots within walking distance of the law school. During some academic years, a few local garages, particularly Presidential Towers, offer discounted parking rates to students who purchase and display Chicago-Kent parking stickers in their windshields. For details visit the Administration and Finance Office or read The Record.
Another option is to park on IIT's main campus and take the free shuttle bus to Chicago-Kent. A yearly parking pass at IIT costs around $150 for the academic year. The shuttle bus is free to all Chicago-Kent students with a valid I.D. and schedules may be found at the front lobby security desk.
There are bike racks located at the front entrance of Chicago-Kent; however, Chicago-Kent is not responsible for damaged or stolen bikes. If you choose to ride a bike to school, please remember that traffic in Chicago can be quite hectic and a helmet is highly recommended.