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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$23.00
Shortest Duration3h 20m
Trips per day14
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 during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our bus partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, bus carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.

In addition, federal law requires all bus passengers to wear a face covering for the entire duration of the trip. Please make sure you are wearing a face mask or you may not be allowed to board the bus.

Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.

How much is a bus ticket from Chicago to Madison?

Based on daily average prices in last 30 days, $29.96 was the low point for bus fares from Chicago to Madison. Buses from Madison to Chicago are similarly priced. Any tickets cheaper than $29.96 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 17 days in advance. By doing so, you could save $6.36 on your ticket compared to booking at the last minute.

How long is the bus ride?

The bus usually takes around 4 hours and 2 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?

Saturday is usually the day when buses are busiest, as many travelers take the bus to enjoy the weekend in Madison. If you are planning to travel on a Saturday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.

On the other hand, Thursday is typically the least busy day for bus travel on this route. If you’re looking for a little extra space, a Thursday ticket is the way to go.

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 14 scheduled buses that travel from Chicago to Madison every day, so you have a decent number of options to choose from. This includes 16 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 $30.00.

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, Amtrak Thruway usually offers more choice, with 7 bus trips per day.

BusDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak Thruway73h 37m$30.00
Greyhound77h 55m$38.80

Book Amtrak Thruway from Chicago to Madison from $30. There are 7 trips per day offered by Amtrak Thruway from Chicago to Madison and you can expect on average to pay $30 for a Amtrak Thruway ticket to Madison. In Chicago, Amtrak Thruway departs to Madison from Union Station - 225 S Canal St, In Madison, Amtrak Thruway arrives at University of Wisconsin - Gordon Center and one other station. An average trip on Amtrak Thruway from Chicago to Madison takes 3 hours and 37 minutes, while the fastest available Amtrak Thruway trip will get you to Madison in 3 hours and 20 minutes, On weekends, Amtrak Thruway offers 14 trips per day. A one way ticket costs $30 for a weekend trip to Madison.

Book Greyhound from Chicago to Madison from $23. There are 7 trips per day offered by Greyhound from Chicago to Madison and you can expect on average to pay $39 for a Greyhound ticket to Madison. In Chicago, Greyhound departs to Madison from Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St and 3 other stations. In Madison, Greyhound arrives at 4 Collins Ct and one other station. An average trip on Greyhound from Chicago to Madison takes 7 hours and 55 minutes, while the fastest available Greyhound trip will get you to Madison in 3 hours and 20 minutes, On weekends, Greyhound offers 7 trips per day. A one way ticket costs $40 for a weekend trip to Madison.

Where does the bus leave from in Chicago?

Buses to Madison leave from multiple locations in Chicago, Illinois. These are the 4 most popular bus stations:

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

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

$45$30$15FebMar

Monthly average prices

$50$40$30$20$10MAMJJASONDJF

Prices as travel date approaches

$50$40$30$20$103020100

Bus Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for buses from Chicago, IL to Madison, WI

(Based on 13 ratings and reviews)

4.5

5.0

Kathleen

February 6, 2020 - Solo travel

Amtrak Thruway

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. 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.

5.0

Beverly

January 25, 2020 - Vacation

Greyhound

Pros: Everything. Cons: Yes. Pros: Everything. Cons: Yes.

5.0

Rosalind

October 27, 2019 - Visiting family

Van Galder

Pros: Felt safe on the bus traveling. Cons: Driver more friendlier. Pros: Felt safe on the bus traveling. Cons: Driver more friendlier.

5.0

Kathleen

October 13, 2019 - Visiting family

Van Galder

Pros: I just love NOT having to worry about driving at all. Cons: better WIFI. Pros: I just love NOT having to worry about driving at all. Cons: better WIFI.

4.0

Gilbert

August 16, 2019 - Visiting family

Van Galder

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 no... 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 between buses.More

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