Travel News: Overcrowded Parking at O’Hare Boosts Airport Express Ridership

For Immediate Release: Chicago (August 11, 2006)

Continental Airport Express, which provides passenger service to and from Chicago’s two major airports, reports a 60 percent increase in Lincoln Park ridership, a 45 percent increase in suburban ridership, and a 10 percent increase in overall ridership for the first five months of this year.

At a time when public parking at O’Hare is severely overloaded, Airport Express carried a grand total of 306,244 passengers from January through May of this year as opposed to 278,949 passengers for the same period in 2005.

The Lincoln Park door-to-door service grew from 2,834 passengers last year to 4,519 this year.  Suburban services grew from 16,092 to 23,355

“We believe the boost can be attributed to the fact that our door-to-door service is proving a popular alternative for Chicago area residents - particularly those who used to drive to the airport and park,” says John C. McCarthy, president of Airport Express.

In recent months, sections of parking lots at O’Hare have been closed for repaving causing parking capacity issues. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the lots fill up quickly, forcing many travelers to park in a remote lot and take both a bus and a tram to reach the terminal.

Airport Express will add 22 vans to its fleet in the next few months to accommodate the increase in ridership.

Founded in 1853 as the Parmelee Transportation Company, Continental Airport Express currently transports more than one million passengers annually to and from Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports.  Its services are offered to and from downtown Chicago, as well as most Chicago neighborhoods and its surrounding suburbs. For more information visit www.airportexpress.com.

Contact: Dyana Flanigan
dkflanigan@hodgeschindler.com
312.666.6662