After experiencing a few decades of moderate decline, Chicago's 2000 population grew to over 2.8 million. The Chicagoland area boasts close to ten million people.
O'Hare is one of the world's busiest airports. Some 17 miles northwest of the Loop, it features six terminals, is self-sustaining, and employs more than 50,000 people. Midway, southwest of downtown, is one of the country's premier point-to-point airports. CTA train lines connect both airports to the Loop, and cab rides from either cost between $35 and $50.
Chicago is definitely a public transport kind of town. The signature way to get from A to B is the rail service operated by the CTA. Dubbed the El, the system is both inexpensive ($2 single rides) and reliable. Its seven lines are color-coded on all CTA maps. The CTA also offers bus service (fares begin at $2).
Taxis are another alternative, and most offer 24-hour service and accept credit cards.
American United Cab
3155 N Clybourn Ave
845 W Washington Blvd
City Service Cabs
2601 W Peterson Ave
4717 N Clark St
Metro Jet Cab
4554 N Broadway St
4001 W Devon Ave
Yellow Cab Company
1730 S Indiana Ave
Conventions & Tourism
If this is your first trip, Chicago's wealth of diversions can be overwhelming. Check with the Convention and Tourism Bureau (www.chicago.il.org), 312-201-8847 or 877-244-2246, to get advice and literature. The city offers two visitor information centers and one information kiosk: Chicago Cultural Center 77 E Randolph Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm Chicago Water Works 163 E Pearson Daily 7:30am-7pm Sears Mall Store Information Kiosk 2 N State
In Chicago, a 15% tip is standard for a waiter or waitress; groups are sometimes charged an automatic 18% gratuity. Bartenders usually get $1 per cocktail. Coat-check clerks should be tipped about $1 per garment. Bellhops and porters should get about $1 per piece of luggage, and maids in more sophisticated hotels rate $1 or more per day of service. Depending on the type and quality of assistance, concierges generally receive between $5 and $15 dollars.