CHICAGO — Getting around O’Hare will be smoother with a planned expansion of the airport’s people mover to a new rental car facility, parking garage and Metra stop, city officials said.
The airport’s 2.7-mile tram, which connects the airport’s three domestic terminals with the international terminal and a remote parking lot, will be extended 2,000 feet, according to Karen Pride, a spokeswoman with the city’s department of aviation.
In addition, the capacity of the 15-car people mover is set to double with the purchase of 15 new cars. The extension and expansion of the people mover will cost $340 million, Pride said in an email.
Currently, the tram’s capacity is 5,600 people per hour in both directions. That will increase to 11,600 per hour, Pride said.
The people mover will connect to Parking Lot F at the southeast corner of Mannheim Road and Zemke Boulevard. In addition, it will give riders access to the Metra station on the North
Central Service Line, which runs from Antioch to Union Station. Travelers currently have to take a shuttle bus to the airport from that stop.
The five-level rental car facility, which will consolidate all of the rental car companies into one location in order to make way for new runways, is expected to be completed in 2016 along with the extension of the people mover, Pride said.
The entire project will cost nearly $800 million, and be paid for by the $8 fee charged when travelers rent a car at O’Hare, Pride said. The department of aviation plans to borrow against future revenue from the fee, which was imposed in 2010.
“No taxpayer dollars will be used for the project,” Pride said.
The extension of the people mover will reduce traffic and vehicle emissions around O’Hare’s terminals, Pride said.