Chicago Will Test Helicopter Taxi Service To O’Hare Next Month
If this test run works out, the trip from downtown Chicago to O'Hare could be cut down to 15 minutes or less.
The company running the test is called Eve Air Mobility. They have been trying to build infrastructure in major cities to showcase their eVOTL electric helicopter as another option to ubers, taxis, and trains.
Here's their corporate YouTube promotional video explaining their service.
Eve Air Mobility plans on launching this program in Chicago by the year 2026 but first needs some data to figure out what needs to be improved.
That's why they will be temporarily opening the program to the public for 2 weeks in September as a sort of dry run.
Crains - Eve Air Mobility, which is creating an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft—or eVTOL—is teaming up with a helicopter operator to offer 15-minute flights from downtown to Schaumburg and Tinley Park for $150 per person. The flights will be available Sept. 14-30.
Is $150 a bit pricey for a trip from downtown Chicago to O'Hare? Yes, but when you consider your other options, it's not crazy expensive. Let's look at your current options from getting between the two destinations.
The cheapest and most time consuming option you have. Yes it will only cost you 5 bucks but now you're lugging all your bags through a CTA turnstile and, assuming you don't have to transfer to the blue line, you're sitting in an uncomfortable subway car for about an hour, joined by whoever else might be on the train at the moment. Could be a bunch of lawyers, and it could be a homeless guy urinating in the corner. That's the gamble you take with the blue line.
Drive To O'Hare Yourself
You could always drive out I-90 yourself but there's a couple of problems. Traffic in Chicago sucks, especially just east of O'Hare at the I-90, I-94 junction. The drive is probably going to be a minimum of 45 minutes, and now you have to do something with your car. That means parking in the extended lot, taking the shuttle to the airport, and then paying about 10 bucks a day when you get back. You could also have a friend drive you, but that's using up a pretty important "friend favor" that you'd love to use in a different situation.
Probably the most frequently used mode of transportation between downtown Chicago and O'Hare. This ride will cost you at least 50 bucks and you're still having to deal with whatever traffic situation the city wants to throw at you.
So judging all those methods vs. a $150, 15-minute helicopter ride, it doesn't seem too exorbitant.
LOOK: The oldest cities in America
Photos of Marvel Exhibit at Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago