Safe, Cheap Parking on the Southside of Chicago
November 30, 2008 12:24 PM   Subscribe

I've got friends from Bloomington, Indiana driving up to Chicago to visit for a few days. They were going to take the Amtrak out of Indianapolis, but the schedule is extremely inconvenient. I'm thinking they should drive up and try and park near a Metra or CTA station on the south side of Chicago, and take public transportation into the city. Any suggestions on what would be the best station to pick?

I'm interested in finding cheap/free parking in a safe neighborhood. Ideally it would be convenient to access for someone driving North on I65. Any suggestions?

I was thinking Midway would be a good option, but it looks like daily parking is at around $14.

If it matters, the ultimate destination will be the South Loop, near the Harrison Red Line stop.
posted by steinwald to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know about parking, but my mother has taken the Megabus from Indy to Chicago frequently. Shame about Amtrak.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:27 PM on November 30, 2008

These Premises Are Alarmed: Any idea where you park in Indianapolis to take the Megabus?
posted by steinwald at 12:33 PM on November 30, 2008

Megabus picks up at 200 E. Washington St. in Indianapolis. There seems to be quite a bit of parking options in the area.
posted by nitsuj at 12:37 PM on November 30, 2008

There are several Park and Rides in South Bend, and the train into the city from there is on a commute schedule, so much more convenient than riding in from Indianapolis. I've done this several times and had no problems.
posted by headspace at 12:40 PM on November 30, 2008

Plus. if they use the 'greenbus' coupon code, and book a few weeks in advance, they can probably get their tickets on megabus for free.
posted by genome4hire at 12:43 PM on November 30, 2008

In my experience, there is decent (as in, not a lot but it surprisingly does exist at certain times of the day) street parking in the South Loop area, especially a just few blocks west of the Red Line.
posted by phunniemee at 1:17 PM on November 30, 2008

They could drive north to South Bend and take the South Shore Line from South Bend to Chicago.
posted by WCityMike at 1:35 PM on November 30, 2008

I used to live/park next to (+- a few blocks) the 51st street metra electric stop. May have gotten more crowded since then.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:50 PM on November 30, 2008

They can take the South Shore from lots of stops between South Bend and Chicago, not just SB. I grew up in Hammond and used to take the South Shore all the time.

South Shore is not, btw, Metra or CTA.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 2:50 PM on November 30, 2008

I made a very similar trip and had a good experience with a CTA park-and-ride somewhere along the Green Line. $2 for the entire day, a fenced lot, and far enough away to avoid the bad traffic. I expect any station with a parking icon on the official transit map would be similar. Good luck!
posted by pheideaux at 2:50 PM on November 30, 2008

I know at the Forest Park CTA stop, you can leave your car for up to a week. Maybe that's true of other end-of-the-line stops, too.
posted by goethean at 10:09 AM on December 1, 2008

Yay for Bloomington! (IU alum here)
I do like the Megabus - it is very handy. If they don't want to do any driving, that's their best bet. If they do drive, are they planning to take their car and just leave it for the few days or will they drive back and forth to and from the city? Here is a list of Metra stations that have daily fee parking, although I don't know how many of them allow overnight parking. (The Hickory Creek station on the Rock Island line is right off I-80 & LaGrange Road.
When I go into the city from where I live in the SW suburbs, I like to park at Midway. They also have a $2/day lot, although that fills up fast on weekdays. When that's full I park at the Midway Park Saver lot right across 59th Street from the Orange Line stop. It's $6.45 for up to 14 hours or $12/day.
There's also Midway Park, Ride, & Fly which is not right at the airport but they do have a free shuttle to and from Midway.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:28 AM on December 1, 2008

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