HOTEL AND ACCOMMODATIONS
Chicago is one of the most accessible cities in North America. With two International airports, Midway Airport (MDW) and the world's 2nd busiest, O'Hare (ORD) Airport, you can be certain to find inexpensive and convenient travel. Chicago's airports are the hubs of the two largest international airlines: United Airlines & American Airlines, as well as Southwest Airlines.
Both Airports are accessible by public transportation (less than 20 miles) to/from the official hotel. (See public transportation section). Shuttle service to/from the Hotel is also available via Continental Airport Shuttle Service.
We have scheduled our proposed convergence dates to take full advantage of the spring season saving offered by many airlines.
Sample Airfare selected cities:
Besides having the 2nd busiest airport in the world, Chicago is also the home of Amtrak's national rail hub. Travel by train can be a suitable alternative and fun for those who wish to save a little money while they let someone else drive. For travel less than 500 miles, traveling by train is particularly inexpensive compared to flying.
Below, are selected published return fares around the proposed Convergence dates.
Groups of 20 or more traveling together receive a discount of 20%/person. Students receive a 15% discount. Additional discounts are frequently offered on the Amtrak web page.
For international attendees, Amtrak offers a USA rail pass 15 day unlimited travel to all major cities east of the Mississippi for $239US, making it easy to see a good portion of the US during your holiday.
The most economical way to get to/from Chicago is by auto. Many cities are within driving distance (<600miles) from Chicago.
Below is a list of approximate mileage and travel times for nearby cities.
Weekend Car rentals can be found for as little as $14.99/day (unlimited miles) for the weekend. Charging the rental with a gold or platinum card will provide Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) at no additional cost. Some useful website that list internet specials on car rentals are: bestfares.com and travelzoo.com
We encourage attendees to carpool. To help with this, we plan on implementing the latest social net.tool, Friendster (SM). The C10 Chicago proposal committee plans on creating a special C10 account to help coordinate rides. Attendees traveling by car can request to be on the C10 Convergence friendster list. Messages concerning ride request/ride offer can be sent to the C10 friendster page which will be forwarded to the bulletin board.
We believe friendster would be a useful tool to aid in the rideshare program due to it's ability to link mutual friends, along with giving potential ride-sharers an opportunity to find out a little out about each other.
Public Transportation is Chicago is one of the best in the USA, considering the geographical size of Chicago. The 'El" (short for Elevated Trains) provides service from Both O'Hare and Midway Airports to Downtown Chicago for $1.50/ride.
The Red Line runs up and Down Lake Michigan, 24/7 with a frequency of one train every 8minute most of the day and one every 15minutes between midnight and 6am. The Red Line provides easy access to Chicago's most famous attractions, including the Sears Tower, Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, China Town, and many others. The Red line is a short walk from the Congress Plaza Hotel.
The CTA offers 1-5 day visitors passes for unlimited rides on all CTA busses and trains. The cost of the pass is as follows:
NOTE: You can save the trouble of trying to figure out how to use the farecard vending machines by preordering a 5 day pass and having it sent to your home address. Please visit this link for details: homehttps://www8.interaccess.com/cgi-bin/transitchicago/cta/store/order.html?action=step1#cards
The CTA uses magnetic strip cards that automatically deduct the fare from the card and keeps track of transfers and card balance.
The Chicago Transit Authority webpage has all the travel information a commuter could possibly need, including an online trip planner http://tripsweb.rtachicago.com/ which will calculate not only the best route of travel based on distance, duration, # of transfers, or added walking, but will also list when the bus/train will arrive, so you won't have to wait around. For more information, check out the CTA webpage. transitchicago.com
If you live or are staying in the surrounding suburbs, you might consider taking the METRA trains into the city. For more info: http://metrarail.com
NOTE: Interested in taxi fee information: http://www.cityofchicago.org/ConsumerServices/cabfares.html
Chicago Parking is difficult in some areas, but for the most part, available for those who don't mind walking a few blocks. Across the street from the main venue is an independently owned pay lot which charges $10/night, a reasonable price for a group of four. The Congress Plaza Hotel offers 24 hours valet service. Additionally, underground parking lots around Buckingham fountain (across from the Hotel) offer all day parking for a $6/day flat rate.
For the Bike enthusiast, Chicago was rated the #1 large city in the USA for bicycling by Bicycling magazine. The city proper has over 100 miles of dedicate bicycle lanes and over 8,000 bike racks (the most of any US city). Bicycles are allowed on CTA trains at all times, except rush hour (M-F, 7a-9a & 4p-6p.) Most busses are equipped with Bicycle transport racks. For more information, consult the Chicago bicycle page: www.ci.chi.il.us/Transportation/BikeInfo
There's a common phrase in the Chicago Working Class vernacular; "Don't worry, I'll take care of ya." It a phrase used to assure a person that an act of friendship is an act of pleasure rather than inconvenience.
In this spirit, the C10 Chicago committee would like 'to take care of ya'. We have assembled a small and growing army of 'ghoulie guides to meet C10 attendees at the airports and take them (via el) to the Hotel.
The ghoulie guides will be available Thursday & Friday on a first come, first serve basis, until the army is depleted. Attendees requesting a ghoulie guide must have a working cell phone to avoid missed connections due to last minute mishaps.