CDA launches new tool that provides live updates on taxicab wait times at Chicago airports

CHICAGO, 2016-Nov-28 — /Travel PR News/ — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) today (November  23, 2016) announced a feature that provides traveling passengers with live updates on taxicab wait times at Chicago airports.

The new text messaging feature allows travelers to request and receive real-time taxicab wait times at O’Hare and Midway via text message. To receive a text message stating taxi wait times, passengers simply need to text the word taxito  (312) 883-8404 for O’Hare’s wait times or (312) 883-7969 for Midway’s wait times.

“From capital investments to expanding concession options, we are committed to ensuring that our airports remain world-class transportation hubs,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This new feature to get real time information about transportation options is just one more example of our efforts to improve the airport experience for passengers.”

Holiday Travel

The new tool rolls out as Chicago prepares for an estimated 1.8 million passengers that are projected by airlines to travel through the City’s airports for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period that runs from Tuesday, November 22 through Monday, November 28.

“The Chicago Department of Aviation is pleased to welcome the millions of travelers who are traveling through Chicago’s airports this holiday season,” said CDA Commissioner Ginger S. Evans. “Using technology to improve the customer experience at Chicago’s airports is critical to the service we provide our passengers. During this busy time, we want our customers to have access to the best transportation options right at their fingertips.”

At O’Hare, airlines expect passenger volume to exceed 1.3 million during the seven-day travel period, an increase of more than four percent over 2015. Midway will welcome nearly 530,000 passengers, an increase of seven percent over last year. The busiest travel day at both airports is projected to be Sunday, November 27 with more than 231,000 passengers expected at O’Hare and nearly 89,000 passengers at Midway.

Travel Tools

Other new customer service features for travelers at Chicago’s airports include new message boards at the front of the taxicab lines containing the latest travel information. Travelers should also consider using e-hail cab services through the CHICABS program.

“CHICABS is the City’s initiative to offer safe and reliable apps to electronically hail a licensed taxicab,” said Maria Guerra Lapacek, Commissioner, Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.  The City chose two app platforms, Curb and Arro, for residents and visitors to hail and pay for a taxi.  E-Hail cab services through Curb and Arro are available for download at

Live taxicab wait time, along with regular updates on traffic, weather and special alerts for the traveling public will also be posted on the CDA website, The website also includes directions, pricing and links to transportation providers in the Chicagoland area.

The CDA reminds travelers that there are a wide range of transportation options available including the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), curbside shuttle services, limousines, and transportation network providers (commonly known as ride-shares).

Travelers are reminded to arrive at the airports two hours in advance of domestic flights and three hours in advance of international flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) encourages travelers to sign up for its PreCheck program this holiday season in order to expedite the security screening process on future flights.

The CDA’s free cell phone lots at O’Hare and Midway are available and allow motorists to temporarily park until friends, family members or business associates have deplaned, collected baggage and are ready to be picked up curbside. The O’Hare cell phone lot is located on the west side of Bessie Coleman Drive across from Economy Parking Lot E. The Midway cell phone waiting lot is located at 61st Street and Cicero Avenue, just south of the main airport entrance.

Real-time parking availability information for both O’Hare and Midway is posted on

 Holiday Festivities

Both airports are sparkling with the holiday spirit. Festive holiday decorations at both airports and will remain throughout the winter holiday season. Seasonal entertainment is scheduled at both airports throughout the month of December.

Today, both airports will host visits from members of the Chicago-based Canine Therapy Corps. The calming canines will be at Midway from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Concourses A and B.  At O’Hare, the dogs will circulate past security in the domestic terminals from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

At Midway, Airport Ambassadors will offer complimentary cocoa to passengers today and Sunday, November 27.

Families looking for a kid-friendly place to relax at O’Hare can visit the “Kids on the Fly” play area in Terminal 2. Volunteer Airport Ambassadors stationed at the information booths at Midway will provide assistance to passengers.

There are five rooms between both airports for traveling mothers to nurse, use a breast pump or care for young children. The Mother’s Rooms at O’Hare are located past security in Terminal 1, B Concourse, across from Gate B10; in Terminal 2 between the E/F Concourses; in Terminal 3, on the mezzanine level of the Rotunda Area, near the Yoga Room; and in Terminal 5 near Gate M14. The Mother’s Room at Midway is located past security, on the way to the C Concourse, and next to the Yoga Room as well.

An indoor service animal/pet relief room is located at O’Hare in Terminal 3, past security, near the Rotunda. At Midway, the room is located past security in Concourse A, across from Gate A5.

For more information, visit


Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA)
(773) 686-3700

Source: Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA)