Traffic Tips for the Chicago Auto Show

Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM 890 Traffic & Transportation

(CHICAGO) Each year the Chicago Auto Show attracts over one million visitors each year to its McCormick Place home. Presented by the oldest and largest automotive trade association, CATA (the Chicago Automobile Trade Association), the show debuts a variety of new automobiles from various manufacturers.

This year, the event falls in the middle of lengthy roadwork projects from the Illinois Department of Transportation on the Stevenson and other arterial roadways around McCormick Place. However, organizers of the Chicago Auto Show have made accommodations to ease travel time impacts for the masses of people traveling to the event.

The Chicago Auto Show website states that, “there is extensive shuttle bus service from all area parking lots to and from McCormick Place, and Weekend and Presidents Day shuttle service from the Millennium Park Garage. Weekend shuttles stop in 10-15 minute intervals near Lower Randolph and at Gate 3 at McCormick Place.” Parking at the Millennium garages vary, however on Presidents Day weekend, there will be a 12-hour rate of $18.

Parking is ample at McCormick Place in three parking lots. Lots A & C cost $23 and are indoors, while Lot B is open-air, costs $15 and is accessible from the 31st Street exit off Lake Shore Drive. Visitors after 6:00 p.m. are charged $10 for parking on the dates of the show only.

Public Transportation to the Chicago Auto Show



Getting to the Chicago Auto Show by train is now even more convenient with the Cermak- McCormick Place Green Line station, which is approximately three blocks west of the venue. Customers traveling on the Red, Brown, Orange and Blue lines can make free transfers to the Green Line at the following locations:

  • Red and Orange Lines: make a free transfer at Roosevelt and board a 63rd-bound Green Line train to Cermak-McCormick Place.
  • Blue Line: make a free transfer at Clark/Lake (farecard required) and board a 63rd- bound Green Line train from the Loop Elevated platform.
  • Brown and Pink Lines: free transfers to 63rd-bound Green Line trains can be made at the Clark/Lake, State/Lake and Adams/Wabash Loop Elevated stations.

Chicago Metra Train and CTA Bus Map | McCormick Place Transportation Gates

#3 King Drive

Additional buses will operate between Fairbanks/Ontario and McCormick Place approximately every 20 minutes beginning at 5 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends, this additional service will be provided beginning at 9 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. (Note: 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on the last Monday).

Special “Auto Show” Buses
Special Auto Show all-electric buses will operate between the Ogilvie Transportation Center/Union Station and McCormick Place approximately every 12 to 30 minutes on weekdays, every 7.5 to 30 minutes on Saturdays, and every 10 to 30 minutes on Sundays, beginning at 9 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. On the last Monday of the event, bus service will be provided beginning 9 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.

These buses will have either “To Auto Show McCormick Place” or “Metra Stations/Via Downtown” in their destination signs depending on the direction of travel and can be boarded from the following locations:

  • Ogilvie Transportation Center: on Clinton at Madison.
  • Union Station: from the corner of Clinton and Quincy or Jackson Boulevard and the Chicago River.
  • Museum Campus: on Columbus at 11th Street.
  • McCormick Place: at Gate #26.


The South Shore provides train service to McCormick Place on weekends. Check the weekend schedule here. In addition, the South Shore will stop select weekday trains at the McCormick Place station, click here for the Chicago Auto Show Weekday Service Bulletin.