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CHICAGO - The O’Hare Airport Transit Service (ATS), an automated people mover, will remain out of service through the end of 2019 and into early 2020, the Chicago Department of Aviation announced today. This delay is to ensure system safety and reliability after systems integration testing revealed a flaw related to the “negative return collector shoe,” which is the mechanism that directs the electrical current needed for rail cars to operate. Crews are now working to retrofit the collector shoe on each new rail car in the fleet.
When complete, the modernized and extended ATS will offer a shortened round-trip time and double the capacity of the previous system. The new-and-improved ATS will provide a smoother and more reliable ride in all weather conditions, linking the terminals and the satellite parking lots, and extend to the Multimodal Facility. By helping to fully unlock the potential of the state-of-the-art Multimodal Facility, upon completion this project will limit vehicular traffic in the terminal core, easing congestion and, for the first time, directly link O’Hare to downtown and the western suburbs via Metra.
In the meantime, a full fleet of shuttle buses will remain in service until the ATS is back online to transport travelers between the terminals, satellite parking lots, and to the Multimodal Facility, where rental car operations are housed.
For more information on the status of the ATS modernization project, please visit flychicago.com.