Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) to cut the ribbon on a new state-of-the-art ground transportation center serving O’Hare International Airport. The new Multi Modal Facility (MMF) directs rental car operations, public parking and other modes of ground transit into one centralized location to improve connectivity for travelers at O’Hare.
“Chicago isn’t wasting any time in preparing O’Hare for the future. By building modern new infrastructure to better serve passengers—we are keeping O’Hare competitive in the 21st century while creating jobs for our community,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As O’Hare expands over the next decade, we’ll continue to grow opportunities for the community as we make sure the airport is positioned for future economic growth and success.”
This project created 3,000 construction jobs, representing a diverse workforce from the city and region. Now open, the Multi Modal supports 950 permanent jobs, including 150 newly hired rental car employees at the airport.
“I applaud the development of O’Hare’s new Multi Modal Facility and look forward to the success it will bring in our shared efforts to foster infrastructure innovation, create good-paying jobs, and increase consistency and convenience for commuters,” said Rep. Mike Quigley. “Faster, easier, and more efficient transportation will encourage ride sharing, cut down on congestion, and allow O’Hare to expand its role as a key driver of our local and regional economies.”
The new 2.5 million square-foot facility provides a central access point for all rental cars, public parking, busing, Metra, and other regional transit serving O’Hare. It significantly enhances passengers’ accessibility while reducing traffic in and around the terminals, making O’Hare a more convenient destination for travel.
“In addition to creating new jobs and supporting local businesses across Chicagoland, O’Hare’s new multimodal facility will further integrate transportation options to reduce congestion and improve efficiency at one of the nation’s busiest airports. This effort will help improve the traveling experience for working parents and millions of commuters traveling to and from our great state every year,” said U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.
“We are proud to bring O’Hare travelers this new centralized facility to make their experience arriving and departing more convenient and more efficient,” said Jamie L. Rhee, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation. “As we look ahead to O’Hare’s future, our capital projects will further elevate the passenger experience, while continuing to spur jobs and economic growth for our residents right here at home.”
The completed Multi Modal Facility, coupled with the extension and modernization of the train, is valued at $841 million. This project was partially financed with a $272 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan secured by Mayor Emanuel and Illinois leaders in 2013. As with all airport capital projects, no local tax dollars were utilized for this project.
“Five years ago I was proud to announce with Mayor Emanuel a federal TIFIA loan to help make possible the construction of this state-of-the-art facility,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “This new multimodal facility will serve as a major new access point for those who fly in and out of O’Hare Airport and another example of how federal investments in transportation infrastructure create economic opportunity.”
The MMF houses all O’Hare rental car companies, providing customers ease of access and choice to 13 new and existing operators serving the airport. The MMF serves several operators who were previously located offsite or at various locations around the airport: Avis Budget Group (Avis, Budget and Payless), Enterprise Leasing Company (Enterprise, Alamo and National), The Hertz Corporation (Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty) and Advantage. The following providers are new to the airport: E-Z Rent a Car, Fox Rent a Car, and Sixt.
“O’Hare’s rental car companies are proud to invest in the airport’s future with this new facility that not only elevates the rental car customer experience at O’Hare, but which also provides an enhanced working environment for our employees,” said Josh Blum, Director of Properties and Concessions for Hertz and Chair of the O’Hare RAC, LLC. “In addition, our new consolidated shuttle system will better serve the City and the O’Hare community with a reduction in vehicles on airport roadway to result in less congestion and fewer emissions.”
The MMF also provides expanded public parking, with a new Parking Lot F comprised of over 2,600 parking spaces, and offering parking guidance technology to help passengers more easily find their vehicles. Other innovation and sustainability features of the MMF include: 12 electronic charging stations; multi-level fueling – the first of this kind in Illinois; 2 Mothers Rooms; Service Animal Relief Area; green roof; and a future concessions location set to open in summer 2019. The CDA is seeking LEED Certified status for the Multi Modal Facility with the U.S. Green Building Council.
The facility was designed by Carol Ross Barney Architects along with Transystems; and executed by Austin Powers Partners, a joint venture comprised of Austin Commercial, Power Construction, and Ujamaa Construction.
The new Multi Modal Facility supports the core goals of O’Hare 21: Mayor Emanuel’s vision for a modern O’Hare. O’Hare 21 calls for a dramatically improved travel experience, better access and amenities for customers, capacity to accommodate today’s fast-growing aviation industry, and builds the foundation to fuel Chicago’s leading connectivity. The centerpiece of this program is the $8.5 billion terminal expansion plan for O’Hare, the largest in the airport’s history. Over the next decade, O’Hare 21 is anticipated to create tens of thousands of construction jobs, and to continue growing economic opportunity to support the City and its future.
Top Image – Ross Barney Associates