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Travel to Northwestern

Local Airports

You may fly into either of the area's two major airports. For additional information about your arrival, visit their websites. 

Getting to Campus

There are several options for getting from the airport to campus, depending on time, budget, and desired mode of transportation.


Airport Express 

Airport Express provides shared rides from the airport to campus.  

  • Reserve your spot online AT LEAST 24 hours before your flight. 
  • Northwestern University students will receive a 15%  discount when booking online.  

American Coach Limousine 

Taxi & Rideshare  

Taxi service is available to city of Chicago and suburban destinations. Fares vary based on traffic conditions, but an average fare from O'Hare International Airport to the Evanston campus is $50-$75. All taxis should have a working meter to calculate the fare based on time and mileage. Some taxi companies have airport “flat” (fixed) rates. Be sure to ask.  

  • Taxi stands are situated at the lower-level curb front outside of baggage claim at each terminal. 
  • Use the taxi stands to ensure you have a licensed taxi driver. Do not accept rides from drivers outside the taxi stand or on the departure level (second level) of the terminal roadways. 

Rideshares through the Uber and Lyft applications are widely available from both airports. Uber and Lyft drivers are authorized to pick up riders at O'Hare and Midway airports.  Please open your app and follow the directions to the designated pickup zones.  Both airports offer 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi, so you can use this to order an Uber/Lyft ride! 

Car Rental 

Some new students and their parents choose to rent cars.  Please check individual car company websites for pricing, driver's license requirements and additional information. 

Public Transit

The following public transportation options are more economical but can be more complicated and will take longer to arrive. 

  • Pace Bus  is a suburban public bus system. This takes approximately one hour to travel to campus. Cost is $2.25. 
  • CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) Trains can be taken from O'Hare International Airport. Taking the blue line and then making two transfers to the red line and purple line will bring you to Evanston. This takes approximately 90 minutes to two hours, depending on the time of day. Cost is between $5 - $10 depending on the timing of transfers. 
    • The CTA blue line station is situated on the lower level of Terminal 2. You may walk to the station or use the Airport Transit System to get to the station.
    • Take the blue line train and switch to the red line at the Jackson Station in downtown Chicago. From Jackson, take the red line in the direction of Howard, and then at Howard, switch to the purple line (direction of Linden) and the purple line will bring you to Evanston. 
    • For best routes and guidance, use your map app and switch to “public transportation” directions.