The passageway to O’Hare International Airport’s people mover train on Jan. 31, 2023. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

O’HARE — Travelers on the last leg of their journey through O’Hare International Airport might have to trek a little longer to snag an Uber or Lyft.

Starting Monday, the airport is moving rideshare pickups out of Terminal 5 and consolidating them to one spot: the upper-level departure deck of Terminal 2, the city said Friday.

Passengers will have to take the airport’s tram from Terminal 5 to Terminal 2, which “takes approximately five minutes and is available 24 hours a day,” according to a city news release. But lines can notoriously pile up outside “the people mover,” keeping people waiting.

Rideshare drivers can still drop off departing flyers at all terminals. Taxi and black car pick-ups will still be available at all terminals, the city said.

Lyft riders taking Lux Black and Lux Black XL cars also can still use Terminal 5, Lyft spokesperson Katie Kim said.

International travelers pass through O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 5 on July 20, 2022. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

The change is meant to “reduce congestion in the lower level arrival lanes at O’Hare,” according to the city. Spokespeople for Uber and Lyft said changes are only temporary as Terminal 5 undergoes curbside construction.

Josh Gold, a spokesperson for Uber, said the company “understands the need” to make changes amid airport construction projects.

“We do hope the airport realizes the need to treat similar modes equally and will work with us as the project continues,” Gold said.

The Lyft app will update walking directions for users taking the shuttle to Terminal 2, and is working with the airport to put up wayfaring signs for rideshare users, Kim said.

Rideshare pickup locations “continue to be evaluated” as O’Hare works through a “complex construction schedule,” said Kevin Bargnes, a spokesperson for the city’s aviation department.

United, Air Canada and Alaska Airlines are among carriers with flights into Terminal 2.

A $1 billion renovation of Terminal 5 is scheduled to wrap this year. Formerly reserved for international flights, Terminal 5 is not directly connected to the main airport and is only accessible via the internal transit system. 

Terminal 5 will open in phases throughout the year, officials said.

Since June, the terminal has opened seven new permanent gates and will service a mix of domestic and international passengers moving forward, officials said.

Once complete, the terminal’s gate capacity will increase by 25 percent and its passenger amenity space by about 85 percent, officials said.

Crews have also broken ground on a new, six-story parking garage that will double the parking spaces available at the terminal, officials said. The garage is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Help Block Club Get
500 More Subscribers!

Subscribe to Block Club now and you’ll get a free 16-by-20-inch Chicago neighborhood print of your choice, helping us reach our goal of getting 500 more subscribers before 2024. Click here to subscribe or click here to gift a subscription.

Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast: