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Old 06-01-2014, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15 posts, read 47,429 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello Fellow City-Data-ers,

I have read a few posts on here from years ago discouraging the public transit commute from the western suburbs to Hyde Park. I want to dispel the myth right here and right now. I recently moved to Chicago in mid-March. I immediately noticed how commute times were a topic of discussion ALL the time & people from Chicago seem to dislike traveling anywhere that takes longer than 30 minutes lol. Being from the South, (South Florida and briefly Houston), I found it strange and funny. We drive EVERYWHERE in the South and we drive longer distances so a commute time of 1 hour is not strange or unusual especially during rush hour traffic.

The public transit commute from Forest Park and Oak Park is not as bad as people are making it seem. Currently I live in Forest Park (& in the process of moving to either Oak Park or Berwyn) and from my location in FP, it takes me one full hour to get to work in Hyde Park in the morning. The afternoon is a different story. It can take up to TWO full hours in the afternoon from the time I leave my desk to the front of my door. To be quite honest, these commute times are normal for me. I'm just happy I don't have to drive anymore. Cars can be a real money pit. And with gas over $4.00 in all of Chicago, I was shocked to see that so many people still drive here. I mean last time I pumped gas in Houston, it was like @ $2.99/gal with a Randalls Card (Houstonians know what I am referring to lol) I do own a car which I plan to only use on wkends, once I get it transported up here.

For those of you interested in my commute. I take the Forest Park Blue Line to Clinton, from there I take the 192 Express bus which leaves at 7AM; 7:25am; 7:45am; etc and takes us directly to UChicago. That route takes me one full hour, sometimes an hour and 15 mins. There's also the Blue Line to the Green Line at Clark/Lake. That's approximately the same time as well and my estimates include walks to stations or up stairs or to offices or buildings, etc.

Some tips:

- If you have small children or several obligations before or after work, you may want to live close to your job. And that goes for anywhere in any city. But if you're single, no kids and don't have any obligations to get to once you get home, these commutes are a piece of cake.

-I do NOT recommend driving in Chicago during rush hour, if you can avoid it. And yes, I have driven in Chicago years ago, which is why I opted out of driving here now. A lot of posts on here focus on the driver and from my 15 years of driving, it is a totally different experience now taking the CTA trains &/or buses.

-Lastly, try to live as close as possible to either a Blue Line or Green Line station. Outside of Express buses, the CTA buses don't seem to have set times and in the winter, that could make or break your commute experience. I personally prefer the trains because they are more consistent but BOY is that Blue Line SLOW. It takes FOREVER.

I hope this post helps somebody out who may have wanted to live in the Western Suburbs while working at UChicago or Hyde Park but was discouraged. Don't be discouraged, it's the drivers doing the most complaining even though their commutes are supposedly shorter lol

Last edited by Endless; 06-01-2014 at 06:59 PM.. Reason: Grammatical errors
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:43 PM
 
3,505 posts, read 4,619,232 times
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This area gets snow storms which can easily double if not tipple your transit time, if driving. So an 30 min commute could turn into an 1:30 one and an 1 hour commuter turn to 3 hours. Public transit is more immune to it but driving is not. That being said an two hour trip home every day is ridiculous, why not live somewhere closer and skip the trip? Also if you traveled at times other than rush hour driving would be faster than public transit.

CTA buses do have set times, they just never can keep them due to other traffic on the street and delays involving people loading and unloading from the bus. The fastest trip would be to drive to an station and use METRA, you would arrive downtown faster. You could also use Metra to get near UChicago but you will have an short bus ride downtown or el trip.

Last edited by chirack; 06-02-2014 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:01 AM
 
28,460 posts, read 81,439,920 times
Reputation: 18672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless View Post
Hello Fellow City-Data-ers,

I have read a few posts on here from years ago discouraging the public transit commute from the western suburbs to Hyde Park. I want to dispel the myth right here and right now. ...

The public transit commute from Forest Park and Oak Park is not as bad as people are making it seem. Currently I live in Forest Park (& in the process of moving to either Oak Park or Berwyn) and from my location in FP, it takes me one full hour to get to work in Hyde Park in the morning. The afternoon is a different story. It can take up to TWO full hours in the afternoon from the time I leave my desk to the front of my door. To be quite honest, these commute times are normal for me. ...

For those of you interested in my commute. I take the Forest Park Blue Line to Clinton, from there I take the 192 Express bus which leaves at 7AM; 7:25am; 7:45am; etc and takes us directly to UChicago. That route takes me one full hour, sometimes an hour and 15 mins. There's also the Blue Line to the Green Line at Clark/Lake. That's approximately the same time as well and my estimates include walks to stations or up stairs or to offices or buildings, etc.

...

-Lastly, try to live as close as possible to either a Blue Line or Green Line station. Outside of Express buses, the CTA buses don't seem to have set times and in the winter, that could make or break your commute experience. I personally prefer the trains because they are more consistent but BOY is that Blue Line SLOW. It takes FOREVER.

...


Ok then, to summarize. The commute via public transit is very slow and long, especially the return trip home. Especially if it involves a bus.

And this is NEWS? Come on, if have kids there is no way it makes sense to be stuck on public transit for TWO HOURS! Do you realize that daycare often charges extra fees BY THE MINUTE? Heck even if you live by yourself and get off work at a "normal" 5PM do you understand what happens to your state of mind trudging from El to bus for two hours every evening? If you spend 8 hrs at work plus three hours EVERY DAY commuting your will have no life! Do you realize the sun sets around 4PM in the winter? Do you want to feel like a cavern dwelling zombie? Of course not! Either live close to work or find a more efficent mode of transportation!


For crying out loud it ain't rocket science to realize that buses get slowed by weather just as cars do, THEY SHARE THE SAME ROADS! This is why experienced local transist planners are rethinking many of the rosy assumptions they made about "bus rapid transit". It might be a lot different in some mild climate than having to deal with snowplow and iced over intersections!

I am one of the stongest advocates for folks to take advantage of the superior commute rail service that many towns in the region have to employmnet centers in / near the Loop. I am also realistic. I have commuted to Hyde Park and it has poor connections to the west suburbs. If you cannot drive it makes sense to live in / near Hyde Park, the south Loop, even Pilsen or the south suburbs that connect to Metra stops in Hyde Park. You would be shaving DOZENS of hours per month from time spent commuting!
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,989 posts, read 2,106,215 times
Reputation: 1536
So if things go well, it takes an hour but sometimes up to two hours. Definitely doesn't sound like a piece of cake.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15 posts, read 47,429 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
This area gets snow storms which can easily double if not tipple your transit time, if driving. So an 30 min commute could turn into an 1:30 one and an 1 hour commuter turn to 3 hours. Public transit is more immune to it but driving is not. That being said an two hour trip home every day is ridiculous, why not live somewhere closer and skip the trip? Also if you traveled at times other than rush hour driving would be faster than public transit.

CTA buses do have set times, they just never can keep them due to other traffic on the street and delays involving people loading and unloading from the bus. The fastest trip would be to drive to an station and use METRA, you would arrive downtown faster. You could also use Metra to get near UChicago but you will have an short bus ride downtown or el trip.
I'm sorry for the confusion but my commute home is NOT 2 hours EVERYDAY. I meant that it can take up to 2 hours but it is generally anywhere between 1:15mins - 1:30mins. I like the western suburbs and that is why I am choosing to live here instead of closer to Hyde Park or in Hyde Park. Different strokes for different folks. This commute isn't for everybody but I would not discourage it for those who are willing to take the trip. Oh & to answer your question, I work a typical work schedule which is pretty much getting there during rush hours and leaving during rush hours
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15 posts, read 47,429 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Ok then, to summarize. The commute via public transit is very slow and long, especially the return trip home. Especially if it involves a bus.

And this is NEWS? Come on, if have kids there is no way it makes sense to be stuck on public transit for TWO HOURS! Do you realize that daycare often charges extra fees BY THE MINUTE? Heck even if you live by yourself and get off work at a "normal" 5PM do you understand what happens to your state of mind trudging from El to bus for two hours every evening? If you spend 8 hrs at work plus three hours EVERY DAY commuting your will have no life! Do you realize the sun sets around 4PM in the winter? Do you want to feel like a cavern dwelling zombie? Of course not! Either live close to work or find a more efficent mode of transportation!


For crying out loud it ain't rocket science to realize that buses get slowed by weather just as cars do, THEY SHARE THE SAME ROADS! This is why experienced local transist planners are rethinking many of the rosy assumptions they made about "bus rapid transit". It might be a lot different in some mild climate than having to deal with snowplow and iced over intersections!

I am one of the stongest advocates for folks to take advantage of the superior commute rail service that many towns in the region have to employmnet centers in / near the Loop. I am also realistic. I have commuted to Hyde Park and it has poor connections to the west suburbs. If you cannot drive it makes sense to live in / near Hyde Park, the south Loop, even Pilsen or the south suburbs that connect to Metra stops in Hyde Park. You would be shaving DOZENS of hours per month from time spent commuting!
Ma'am! Reading is fundamental. The public transit commute is NOT SLOW nor long. It is relatively the same amount of time as being in a car if not less....depending on where you live. I specifically stated that I would NOT recommend this commute or any long commutes for people with small children or obligations that may require them to be home at short notice.

And you seem more upset about my commute then I am lol. Again, I'm not from here and this commute seems pretty normal to ME. It is NOT for everybody but I would not discourage it either. I like it for ME. And even if I had a car, the commute would STILL be 2 hours of my "life" every day. I'm from the South, we do these commutes with our eyes closed lol Stop whining. So yeah, stick to what you like and I will stick to what I like. This was MY opinion.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15 posts, read 47,429 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace Rothstein View Post
So if things go well, it takes an hour but sometimes up to two hours. Definitely doesn't sound like a piece of cake.
Nuclear physics isn't a piece of cake for everybody but for some people it is.....and your point is?? lol
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
2,724 posts, read 2,042,732 times
Reputation: 3082
They're on opposite parts of the CITY. I could see Oak Park and Forest Park being good for if you worked at Loyola in Maywood, but HYDE PARK?!?!?
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:28 AM
 
28,460 posts, read 81,439,920 times
Reputation: 18672
Default Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCrest182 View Post
They're on opposite parts of the CITY. I could see Oak Park and Forest Park being good for if you worked at Loyola in Maywood, but HYDE PARK?!?!?
The problem I have with these kinds of posts is they really are misrepresenting the challenges of public transit in the region. While I generally recommend that folks that have the opportunity to take public transit to get around the region give it some consideration one need not have even as sophisticated an understanding of time & space as Aristole to realize that being far away from your destination and relying on a bus that does not take expressways and does make multiple stops is going to take much longer than driving.

CCrest182 is spot on -- if you needed to get to Loyola Med Center, (or the VA or the state mental health facility all nearby...) a bus from Forest Park would be fine and the little bit extra distance from Oak Park would probably still be more than tolerable.

Getting to UofC is completely different. There are no direct links to rail, no express buses from the western suburbs, a whole lot of other commuters certainly would impact the progress of a bus onnsurface streets much more so than a private vehicle on expressways and just a ridiculously challenging "edge case" of transit boosterism.

If the OP thinks this is "not that bad" (apparently becuase they're from the south where such circuitous bus trips are not uncommon ???) then they might happily endure this but for the benefit of anyone contemplating relocating to the region the fact remains -- Forest Park is an exceedingly inconvent choice if your objective is take public transit to Hyde Park.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Chicago- Westside
4,076 posts, read 9,912,610 times
Reputation: 2620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless View Post
Ma'am! Reading is fundamental. The public transit commute is NOT SLOW nor long. It is relatively the same amount of time as being in a car if not less....depending on where you live. I specifically stated that I would NOT recommend this commute or any long commutes for people with small children or obligations that may require them to be home at short notice.

And you seem more upset about my commute then I am lol. Again, I'm not from here and this commute seems pretty normal to ME. It is NOT for everybody but I would not discourage it either. I like it for ME. And even if I had a car, the commute would STILL be 2 hours of my "life" every day. I'm from the South, we do these commutes with our eyes closed lol Stop whining. So yeah, stick to what you like and I will stick to what I like. This was MY opinion.
I doubt it's a shorter commute time by public transit, but I'm sure it saves money.
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