Department of Mathematics and Philosophy

Getting to WIU’s Macomb Campus for the ASL Conference

Western Illinois University’s main campus is in Macomb, Illinois.  There is a branch campus WIU-Quad Cities, which is in Moline, Illinois.  Be aware that the Association for Symbolic Logic North American Annual Meeting is being held on the Macomb campus.  Getting to Macomb can be challenging and requires careful planning.  Below are some of the main ways to get to WIU’s Macomb campus.

Macomb does not have an airport you can fly into directly.  There are six airports you can use as a hub for getting close.  From there, you will have to decide to either rent a car or use public transportation.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages.  

Airports: (airport code, miles to Macomb, and approximate driving time)

Flying + Rental Car:

Flying to PIA, MLI, BMI, and STL your best option to get to Macomb is to rent a car and drive.  There are public transportation options, but they are limited and cumbersome.   Driving will require that you have GPS.  Much of the drive will be on two lane roads with a speed limit of 55 mph.

If you fly to ORD or MDW and want to drive, you can.  There are toll roads for a significant part of the drive out of the city.  So inquire as to whether your rental will have I-Pass (the Illinois branded E-ZPass) or if you have an E-ZPass, you can bring it with you.  If not, have a bit of cash on you for the tolls.

For those who fly into PIA and MLI, we are planning on arranging limited free shuttle services to Macomb (two or three times on Tuesday.) More information on this option will be posted when it's arranged.

Flying + Trains:

If you fly into Chicago (ORD), you can get to Macomb on Amtrak.  The simple explanation: Take the CTA, Blue Line train from the airport (ORD) to the Clinton Street station, walk two blocks to Union Station, and then take Amtrak to Macomb.  CTA trains are fast and run frequently, and the entire journey (including all waiting and walking) takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.  The two maps you will need for this journey are the CTA rail map and the Downtown Chicago map

The detailed explanation:

  • First, you need to get to the CTA station (the O'Hare station on the Blue line). If your flight arrived at the International terminal (5), you will need to take the Airport Transit System (ATS) first.  Follow the signs "Trains to City" or "Airport Transit System" and get to the ATS station.  Take an automated train to Terminal 3, get off, take an escalator up, turn left, walk to the elevators in the parking building, take an elevator down to the "CTA" level, and follow the underpass to the CTA station.  The entire trip takes about 15 minutes.
  • Now you are at the CTA station.  The fare is $5.00.  Buy a transit card from the fare card vending machine (cash, debit, or credit card).  Exact fare is required; however, one transit card can be shared by several people - just put enough money for all the riders.  Pay your fare and pass through the turnstiles to the boarding platform.  Take any train and travel to the Clinton station on the same Blue line.  The travel time from O'Hare to Clinton is 49 minutes; trains run every 7-10 minutes daily.
  • Finally, you need to get from the CTA Clinton station to Union Station. Union Station is located two blocks (300 m) north of the Clinton station (map).  Take the escalator up and simply walk north along Clinton (there is a sign pointing in the direction of Union Station at the exit from the Clinton station).  You will see an entrance to Union Station near the intersection with Jackson (there is also an accessible ramp down into the station on the Clinton side just after the taxi drive-in entrance).  The entire walk takes about 5 minutes.

The total travel time from O'Hare to Union Station should be about 1 hour 15 minutes including all walking, waiting, and riding the train (about 1 hour 20 minutes if you are coming from the International terminal).  

The Blue line operates at all times, and so there is no last train to miss to get to Union Station.  However, there are only TWO trains a day that go from Chicago to Macomb

If you are limited on time or have a lot of luggage, you may want to take a taxi from O’Hare to Union Station which will cost approximately $50-$60.  Another option would be to take a shuttle with GO Airport Express for approximately $33-$35. There are several ticket counters and loading zones for boarding the GO Airport Express shuttle at the airport.  The shuttles leave O'Hare airport every 10-15 minutes.

If you fly into Chicago’s Midway airport (MDW), you will take the Orange line CTA train to Union Station.

From the terminal follow the signs "Trains to City."  Pass through the parking building and take the pedestrian overpass to the station.  The walk from any gate to the station takes about 10 minutes.

Now you are at the CTA station.  Buy a single-ride ticket from the farecard machines (cash, debit, or credit cards).  Pay your fare and pass through the turnstiles to the boarding platform.  Take any train and travel to the Quincy station on the Orange line.  The travel time from Midway to Quincy is 27 minutes; trains run every 8-12 minutes daily.

Finally, you need to get from the CTA Quincy station to Union Station.  Union Station is located three blocks (400 m) west of the Quincy station (map).  Simply walk west along Adams or Jackson towards the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the Chicago river.  You will see an entrance to Union Station just after you cross the river.  The entire walk takes about 7 minutes.  Total travel time, about 45 minutes.

Now you are at Union Station.  The same Amtrak train explanation as the ORD trip above applies.  There are only two trains from Chicago to Macomb daily.  The standard pre-purchase fare is $22.  The daily schedule is below.


Chicago (Union Station) to Macomb
Amtrak Train: Chicago to Macomb (Everyday)
Morning: Departs Chicago at 7:35 a.m.  Arrives in Macomb at 10:58 a.m.
Evening:  Departs Chicago at 5:55 p.m.   Arrives in Macomb at 9:18 p.m.

Macomb to Chicago (Union Station)
Amtrak Train: Macomb to Chicago (Everyday)
Morning: Departs Macomb at 7:00 a.m.  Arrives in Chicago at 10:35 a.m.
Evening: Departs Macomb at 6:18 p.m.  Arrives in Chicago at 9:53 p.m.

Note:  Amtrak train prices may be higher than $22 one way if not bought in advance.


Go West Bus System

The Go West Bus System is the only unlimited access bus system in the state of Illinois, and provides fixed route public transportation to areas in Macomb.  All routes are fare-free. For route information, visit

Click for a Go West Bus Schedule during the ASL Conference.

S&G Taxi
Phone: (309) 318-9815