2013 travel

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This page provides details of getting from the airport to hotel, and from the hotel to the UIC campus. There is plenty more conference and location info on:

The conference hotel – The Crowne Plaza - is at the corner of Madison and Halsted. The UIC – Halsted stop on the CTA Blue Line train from O’Hare airport also stops at Halsted, five blocks south of the hotel. The conference sessions will be held on the UIC campus, which is 9 blocks (~1 mile) south of the hotel along Halsted. The #8 Halsted bus runs every ten minutes or so, depending on the time of day. Service does stop at 12:30 am on this line. See the CTA schedule for details. http://www.transitchicago.com/riding_cta/busroute.aspx?RouteId=167

Shuttle Service: Shuttle service will be available between the Crowne Plaza and the UIC Forum on February 12-14, provided by UIC Transportation. A bus will run approximately every 15-20 minutes during the following periods and should be able to accommodate 40-50 people per trip.

  • February 12: 7-9 a.m.; 5-7 p.m.
  • February 13: 7-9 a.m.; 5-7 p.m.
  • February 14: 7-9 a.m.; 12-2 p.m.

Please note that there will not be shuttle service on Monday for preconference attendees.


General notes:

  • While the Crowne Plaza website touts “aiport transport” as a service, it does not have its own dedicated shuttle; they refer their guests to “Go Airport Express” for shuttle service. Details are below.
  • The hotel address is 733 Madison, but the main entrance is on Halsted. You’ll go just north of the intersection of Madison and Halsted, and enter the hotel lot from Halsted.
  • If you plan to buy a 3-day or 7-day CTA pass, you should do so at the O’Hare or Midway stations (not all stations sell them, but the airport stations do). 3 day passes are $20 and 7 day passes are $28. For further information see http://www.transitchicago.com/airports/


  • CTA – BLUE LINE EL - It takes approximately an hour to take the blue line train from O’Hare to the UIC-Halsted stop, then either walk five blocks north on Halsted, or catch the north-bound #8 Halsted bus from the train stop to the hotel. The Blue Line runs 24 hours a day, but the bus stops at 12:30 AM. From O’Hare, you’ll catch the train bound for "Forest Park". http://www.transitchicago.com/blueline/
  • Shared ride shuttle service: Go Airport Express is $30.00 from O’Hare to the Crowne Plaza. https://www.airportexpress.com. Please note that “Supershuttle” does not provide service to the Crowne Plaza.


  • CTA ORANGE LINE TO BLUE LINE EL – It takes about 1 hour to catch the orange line train to the Crowne Plaza hotel; you will need to transfer to another train or bus. A recommended route is to catch the Orange line train toward the Loop, get off at the Madison/Wabash station and take the westbound #20 Madison bus to the hotel. You can also easily hail a cab from Madison/Wabash, so you’ve got a good ‘plan B’ if you don’t want to wait for a bus.
  • Shared ride shuttle service: Go Airport Express is $25.00 from Midway to the Crowne Plaza. https://www.airportexpress.com. Please note that “Supershuttle” does not provide service to the Crowne Plaza.


Conference hotel: The Crowne Plaza 733 W. Madison http://www.thechicagometro.com/ The hotel is in Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood, due west of the loop – as has been noted in the list discussion, there are indeed Greek restaurants throughout the neighborhood. There is a large Dominick’s grocery store on one side of the hotel and a 24 hour Walgreen’s across the street from the hotel. There are Starbucks locations both in the Dominick’s and one block southwest of the hotel on Halsted St.

Preconference Sessions: Monday Feb 11th UIC Daley Library, the UIC Forum and UIC Library of the Health Sciences

  • Most preconference sessions are at the UIC Daley Library at 801 S. Morgan. Exceptions:
    • Drupal, RailsBridge and Solr 4 sessions are at the UIC Forum.
    • Intro to Hydra is at the Library of the Health Sciences in Room 303, on the third floor.
  • Specific room numbers for each session can be found on the specific preconference session pages at: http://lanyrd.com/2013/c4l13/ Look on the right side bar for the room number from any session details screen. For Daley Library, room numbers are preceded by floor numbers, so “1-470” is Floor 1, room 470.
  • The Daley Library is located just about mid-way between Harrison and Taylor streets. The most direct route to the library is across campus grounds, but that can be confusing if you haven’t been to the campus before. The simplest route is to take the #8 Halsted bus from the hotel and get off at Taylor St. go west on Taylor to Morgan, then turn right (north). The Library has a large west entrance on Morgan Street.
  • The Library of the Health Sciences is located at 1750 W. Polk. The building is across the street from the Polk Pink Line station, or a short walk from the Blue Line Medical District stop. The #7 and #157 buses also drop off in front of the building (at Polk).

Main conference sessions: Tuesday Feb 12 – Thursday Feb 14. All regular conference sessions will take place at the UIC Forum http://www.uic.edu/depts/uicforum/ 725 W. Roosevelt Road at Roosevelt and Halsted. You can take the free shuttle bus, the #8 Halsted bus, or walk.



Locals prefer the Chicago Transit Authority. You can pay in cash, but it's much easier (and a bit cheaper*) to purchase a transit card. You can buy one at the airport, the Dominick's Grocery Store 1/2 block north of the hotel on Halsted Street, or at any train station.

Get bus and train arrival time information from the CTA mobile site: http://www.transitchicago.com/mobile/

If you don't have a transit card, a cash trip will cost you $2.25. Exact change is required.

  • As of last month, it now costs $5 to travel to and from O'Hare airport via the train. Hello, tourist tax!
  • Other CTA transit tracking apps - find out if a bus or train is forthcoming: http://www.transitchicago.com/apps/
  • If you'll be coming to the hotel from the CTA Blue Line, note that there are three exits from the UIC Halsted station. To make sure you exit directly onto Halsted Street, look down the platform until you spot either the Sears Tower or the freeway signs to Indiana/Wisconsin. Walk in that direction all the way down the platform. The Halsted exit will have a ramp instead of stairs (easier for your suitcase). Here's a photo: http://tinyurl.com/axyugyh


Reasonably-priced for short trips around the Loop, but if you're going to the airport, the CTA is more reliable (traffic-wise) and cheaper option.

Call or book online:

The Uber ride ordering service does operating in Chicago, including taxi hailing from the Uber app. https://www.uber.com This is probably only useful to people who already use Uber in other cities, since you have to set up an account with them.