Transportation Options from Chicago to NNE Indiana
November 19, 2018 4:37 PM   Subscribe

In Chicago, I’ve not needed to drive for 20 years now. When I visit my parents in north-northeast Indiana (46703) for the holidays, they’ve been kind enough to drive 90 minutes each way to pick me up from the South Shore terminal in South Bend. I’m trying to discover options to take that burden off them, but I think my only reliable, reproducible option will be to re-learn how to drive and then rent a car. But I’m wondering if people know of other options. What I’ve already explored, after the fold.

Megabus, Coach, Greyhound, Airport Supersaver – As far as I can tell, none have a stop close enough to make any sort of difference.

Airport taxis from South Bend – at their rate per mile, they all would be about $200 each way, plus there'd be an issue getting them to come out to drive me back.

Amtrak – If it weren’t for freight train right-of-way, the train to Waterloo would be an option. But nearly 20 years ago I ruled it out after two attempts ... the routes, #30 (Capitol Limited) or #48/#448 (Lake Shore Limited), had five- and six-hour delays to get to Waterloo because of those freight train right-of-ways, meaning I'd routinely pull in at 4:00 am. Checking ASMAD, it still happens constantly.

Carpools or cadging a ride – an option, but I don't think they can be reliably reproduced time after time.

Does anyone know of option(s) I'm not thinking of, or missing?
posted by WCityMike to Travel & Transportation around Angola, IN (3 answers total)
 
There's the Wolverine Amtrak line to Battle Creek, which is about half an hour closer. It's been more-or-less on time when I've picked people up there, but that's a sample size of like four, so not super helpful. But maybe the train schedules on that line would work better for you?

As far as that last leg -- I don't know how you feel about rideshare companies, but right now a Lyft from South Bend to Angola is ~$90, or $65 from Battle Creek. Cheaper than an airport taxi, and depending on how long you're going for, cheaper than a rental car. (It would let me "schedule" a ride from Angola for later this evening, but not surprisingly there weren't Lyfts hanging around there. But it might at least save your folks the one way -- or you could check Uber.)
posted by goodbyewaffles at 5:53 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't have a specific suggestion, but for smaller towns the local chamber of congress will usually know of any available transport options. Often there are things available that are difficult to find by googling.

If there is a university in the area you need to get to, often their website will have some suggestions on transportation.
posted by yohko at 7:08 PM on November 19, 2018


Anecdotally I have been taking the Wolverine line from Chicago to Michigan on and off for thirty years and it feels like the freight delays are MUCH less than they used to be -- both less frequent and shorter in duration. If ASMAD confirms that (nifty tool btw), taking Amtrak to Battle Creek as goodbyewaffles suggests might be acceptable. And the Lyft fares from there look to be about 1/3 what the cab fare is from South Bend.
posted by great_radio at 1:48 PM on November 25, 2018


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