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Find bus tickets from Chicago to Madison

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Journey Information

Chicago to Madison bus - cost & duration

Cheapest price$30.32
Fastest time3h 20m
Trips per day12
Bus lines2

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a train from Chicago to Madison?

Amtrak will take you from Chicago to Madison, but there are no direct trains between the two cities (which means you’ll need to transfer). The trip will take you at least 4 hours. A bus can get you from Chicago to Madison in as few as 3 hours, and tickets start as low as $15. Train tickets from Chicago to Madison are usually at least $45.

Is Chicago to Madison a good day trip?

Madison, Wisconsin, is a great day trip from Chicago. At least 30 buses run daily between the cities going each way, so you could arrive in Madison as early as 10:15 a.m. and leave to head back to Chicago as late as 11:15 p.m.

Is it safe to travel by bus from Chicago to Madison right now?

We stand behind CDC guidelines that caution passengers against non-essential travel during the coronavirus outbreak. That said, we recognize not everyone is in a position to completely abstain. Whether it’s for work, to take care of family or to get back home, some circumstances inevitably require travel. If you’re one of those individuals who still needs to book a trip, you can continue to do so on Wanderu.

Know that most bus companies are still running at this time, though some have limited service. Visit our COVID-19 travel guide for resources and daily updates on the coronavirus and COVID travel restrictions.

In order to keep vehicles as clean and sanitized as possible, bus companies are taking extra precautions for coronavirus. For details on what various companies are doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.

How much is a bus ticket from Chicago to Madison?

Based on daily average prices in last 30 days, $38.84 was the low point for bus fares from Chicago to Madison. Buses from Madison to Chicago are similarly priced. Any tickets cheaper than $38.84 could be considered a great deal.

The best way to find cheap deals on bus tickets is by booking as early as possible, since most bus companies increase the price as the travel date approaches. You should book at least 11 days in advance. By doing so, you could save $19.76 on your ticket compared to booking at the last minute.

How long is the bus ride?

The bus usually takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes to cover the 122 miles (197 kilometers) from Chicago, IL to Madison, WI. However, the fastest bus only takes 3 hours and 20 minutes. In other words, you'll have plenty of time to rest and relax on the bus.

What is the busiest day of the week to travel by bus?

With many people traveling in the middle of the week, Wednesday is the busiest day of the week for bus travel. If you are planning to travel on a Wednesday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.

On the other hand, Sunday is typically the least busy day for bus travel on this route. If you are looking for less crowded buses to Madison, book your ticket for the last day of the week.

When do the earliest and latest buses leave Chicago?

The first bus leaves at 6:00am and the last bus leaves at 10:00pm. To see the times for all buses from Chicago to Madison, enter your specific travel dates in the search bar.

How many buses are there each day?

There are 12 scheduled buses that travel from Chicago to Madison every day, so you have a decent number of options to choose from. This includes 8 direct buses, where you can stay on the same bus without having to transfer to a connecting bus at any point during your trip.

Need more travel options? Consider taking the train from Chicago to Madison; ticket prices start at $39.54.

What bus companies travel from Chicago to Madison?

There are a couple of bus lines that have daily service from Chicago, Illinois to Madison, Wisconsin. Of these two services, Greyhound usually offers more choice, with 7 bus trips per day.

BusDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak Thruway83h 36m$39.54
Greyhound76h 2m$47.44

Where does the bus leave from in Chicago?

Buses to Madison leave from multiple locations in Chicago, Illinois. These are the 3 most popular bus stations:

  • Union Station - 225 S Canal St
  • Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St
  • 5800 N Cumberland Ave
  • Dan Ryan Bus Station

Where does the bus arrive in Madison?

Buses arrive in Madison at 3 stations, depending on which bus line you are traveling with. These are the main bus stations in Madison, Wisconsin:

  • 4 Collins Ct
  • University of Wisconsin - Gordon Center
  • N Lake & W Johnson (NB)

Price trends for buses from Chicago to Madison

Average prices by travel date

$79$53$26SepOct

Monthly average prices

$66$53$40$26$13ONDJFMAMJJAS

Prices as travel date approaches

$66$53$40$26$133020100

bus Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for buses from Chicago, IL to Madison, WI
4.5
Based on 12 ratings and reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Overview
Users that traveled with Greyhound report that they were happy with the WiFi on board 50 percent of the time.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort
4.5
Staff
3.0
Value
4.0
Condition
4.0
Beverly
5.0
January 25, 2020Vacation
Pros
Everything
Cons
Yes
Jonathan
3.0
August 1, 2019Visiting friends
Pros
I liked the convenience of the bus. I didn't have to drive or take the bus.
Cons
Staff was awful. Very rude and almost made me miss my bus!

Based on 1 reviews
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort
5.0
Staff
5.0
Value
4.0
Condition
5.0
Kathleen
5.0
February 6, 2020Solo travel
Pros
Not having to drive and just relax
Cons
Not having to drive and just relax
Tips
The only advice I have is bring a little blanket the bus is completely warm but sometimes I say is going on business are wearing a skirt so I need my legs to be comfortable

Based on 1 reviews
Overview
Users that traveled with OurBus report that they were happy with the WiFi on board 100 percent of the time.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort
5.0
Staff
5.0
Value
5.0
Condition
5.0

Based on 8 reviews
Overview
Users that traveled with Van Galder report that they were happy with the WiFi on board 88 percent of the time.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort
4.3
Staff
3.8
Value
3.6
Condition
4.9
Rosalind
5.0
October 27, 2019Visiting family
Pros
Felt safe on the bus traveling
Cons
Driver more friendlier
Kathleen
5.0
October 13, 2019Visiting family
Pros
I just love NOT having to worry about driving at all
Cons
better WIFI
Gilbert
4.0
August 16, 2019Visiting family
Pros
It was better and cheaper then renting a car.
Cons
Nothing
Tips
Please read the fine print. The passenger had to transfer and the first bus was too late to catch the next bus. Since the ticket was purchased through this website, no refund from the website nor the bus that we had the trip through. Just leave plenty of time in betw...More
Ben
3.0
August 4, 2019Visiting friends
Pros
Timing, cleanliness
Cons
The driver was overall pretty rude and patronizing. We stopped at a McDonald’s as advertised but only for 6 minutes and he said no one should order anything because he would leave without them. It was dinner time.
Isaac
4.0
August 5, 2019Visiting friends
Pros
The bus was not crowded, so I was able to sit by myself with no one right next to me. The bus drivers were very kind and friendly. We arrived on time even while having to make 2 stops on the way to Madison from Chicago.
Cons
The wifi was EXTREMELY slow.

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