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Madison to Chicago bus - cost & duration

Cheapest price$1.00
Shortest Duration2h 0m
Trips per day65
bus carriers4
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bus Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for Madison to Chicago
4.8
Based on 15 reviews

Based on 1 reviews
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort
2.0
Staff
5.0
Value
4.0
Condition
5.0
John
5.0
February 13, 2020Visiting friends
Pros
The things I appreciated about the trip was the driver was kind, he also remembered names, kept the bus clean, and he drove quite efficiently and smoothly.
Cons
The seats were terribly uncomfortable and the bathroom looked too small to attempt fitting in there, the driver I had obviously would have kept it in great condition.
Tips
Not all bus rides are this uncomfortable, nor are they all as pleasant.

Based on 4 reviews
Overview
Users that traveled with Megabus report that they were happy with the WiFi on board 67 percent of the time.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort
4.7
Staff
4.7
Value
4.0
Condition
4.7
Kathleen
5.0
November 23, 2019Visiting family
Pros
that I got to leave the driving to someone else. it was at late bus 11:15pm from Madison, WI to Chicago, IL
Cons
cut down on the travel time. Even with a stop in Milwaukee this trip should not take 3 hours + 10mins or so
Kathleen
5.0
September 28, 2019Solo travel
Pros
I travel to Madison Wisconsin from Chicago and especially love megabus it’s so easy and nice and especially during the winter months when it’s going to be snowing I will be booking many many many more trips I’m actually taking the megabus today to go to Madison
Cons
I travel to Madison Wisconsin from Chicago and especially love megabus it’s so easy and nice and especially during the winter months when it’s going to be snowing I will be booking many many many more trips I’m actually taking the megabus today to go to Madison
Caroline
4.0
September 13, 2019Visiting family
Pros
I liked the fast wifi.
Cons
Seatbelt was actually not working

Based on 10 reviews
Overview
Users that traveled with Van Galder report that they were happy with the WiFi on board 71 percent of the time.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Comfort
4.4
Staff
4.3
Value
4.0
Condition
4.9
Don
5.0
November 30, 2019Visiting family
Pros
This was a very enjoyable trip at a time when it could have been hectic and less enjoyable because of weather conditions and holiday travel concerns. Our driver Don (Jordan I think) was extremely informative and in control the entire trip.
Cons
Since everything exceeded any expectations it leaves little room for improvement in my opinion!
Tips
Other than asking for Don as a driver don't worry about carryon luggage as it is readily available promptly upon arrival.
Karson
4.0
September 28, 2019Vacation
Cons
It would be very helpful to have additional information because there were multiple times that I was confused on timing or final destination.
Kathleen
5.0
September 6, 2019Visiting family
Pros
Pick up/drop off locations were very convenient for me. LOVED the free WI FI and more importantly I wasn't panicked thinking my phone would die as there was an outlet at every seat to plug in my device. That was KEY for me. I even paid my bills through my phone becaus...More
Cons
Don't see any really need for improvements. EXCEPT.....my destination was Chicago (where I live). Do think the driver could have taken a different route into the city. He took the Kennedy expressway (90) which is the WORST possible route to get into the city. Esp...More
Tips
Book THIS !!!! This was the first time I used Wanderu/Van Galder bus. I travel to University of Wisconsin frequently and I've driven there in the snow. WAY TOO STRESSFUL. Even though not snow season yet, I'm going to book my next trip in about 2 weeks through Wan...More

Frequently Asked Questions

Which bus carrier should you take from Madison to Chicago?

The cheapest bus carrier you can take from Madison to Chicago is Greyhound, which has an average ticket price of $24.40. That said, Greyhound also averages the longest travel time at 5 hours and 54 minutes. To arrive in Chicago sooner, consider traveling on a Megabus, with an average travel time of 3 hours and 43 minutes. Megabus tickets average a few dollars more than Greyhound, but may be worth it to save you almost two hours.

How do you get to the bus station from UW-Madison?

Bus carriers such as Megabus and Van Galder depart from Langdon Street just outside of the Memorial Union building on the east side of the UW-Madison campus. The Memorial Union is on the south shore of Lake Mendota, next to the Helen C. White Hall and across from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

How much longer does a bus take than a flight from Madison to Chicago?

The fastest you can expect to arrive in Chicago from Madison is about 3 hours, though the average time is closer to 3 hours and 45 minutes. Nonstop flights from Madison to Chicago take about an hour, but are far more expensive, averaging about $229. For comparison, bus tickets for this route average just $25.08.

How much does a bus ticket from Madison to Chicago cost?

Based on the last 30 days, the cheapest average bus fares from Madison to Chicago were $27.01.

The best way to find cheap bus tickets from Madison to Chicago is by booking earlier as most bus companies increase the price as the departure date approaches. By booking 15 days out, tickets are on average $2.60 cheaper than those that are booked last minute.

How long is the bus ride from Madison to Chicago?

The distance between Madison and Chicago is approximately 122.40 miles, or 196.93 kilometers. The average travel time for a bus between these two cities is around 3 hours and 52 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 2 hours,

Looking for ways to pass the time? Most buses are equipped with Wi-Fi, which means you can stream music, browse social media or get some work done during your ride. That said, in case your bus has a spotty signal, or is among the few without Wi-Fi, we also recommend downloading TV shows and movies to your mobile device in advance of your trip. That way the ride will fly by whatever the Wi-Fi situation.

What is the busiest time to travel by bus from Madison to Chicago?

The busiest time of the week for travel from Madison to Chicago by bus is usually on Monday. When planning to travel around this time, tickets should be booked well in advance as they may sell out and you may find buses more full than usual. Saturday tends to be when the fewest number of bus tickets are sold. If you’re looking for a little extra space, buses departing at this time are the least likely to be crowded.

What bus companies travel from Madison to Chicago?

On average there are 65 scheduled bus trips per day. Van Galder has the most regularly scheduled departures from Madison to Chicago, with an average of 35.705 trips per day and 544.5 monthly trips. 4 bus carriers serve the route from Madison to Chicago. Of the 65 trips there are 63 trips that are direct connections to Chicago.

Need more travel options? Train tickets from Madison to Chicago start at $30.00.

4 carriers offer Madison to Chicago bus trips

Greyhound

Book Greyhound from Madison to Chicago from $11.00. There are 4.133333 trips per day offered by Greyhound from Madison to Chicago and you can expect on average to pay $24.26 for a Greyhound ticket to Chicago. In Madison, Greyhound departs to Chicago from 4 Collins Ct, In Chicago, Greyhound arrives at 5800 N Cumberland Ave and 3 other stations.

An average trip on Greyhound from Madison to Chicago takes 6 hours and 37 minutes, while the fastest available Greyhound trip will get you to Chicago in 2 hours and 0 minutes,

On weekends, Greyhound offers 4.166667 trips per day. A one way ticket costs $26.62 for a weekend trip to Chicago.

Avg. Time
6h 37m
Avg. Price
$24.26

Megabus

Book Megabus from Madison to Chicago from $1.00. There are 4.316667 trips per day offered by Megabus from Madison to Chicago and you can expect on average to pay $25.65 for a Megabus ticket to Chicago. In Madison, Megabus departs to Chicago from University of Wisconsin, In Chicago, Megabus arrives at W Polk St. btwn S Clinton St and S Canal St,

An average trip on Megabus from Madison to Chicago takes 3 hours and 39 minutes, while the fastest available Megabus trip will get you to Chicago in 2 hours and 0 minutes,

On weekends, Megabus offers 4.222222 trips per day. A one way ticket costs $26.74 for a weekend trip to Chicago.

Avg. Time
3h 39m
Avg. Price
$25.65

Amtrak Thruway

Book Amtrak Thruway from Madison to Chicago from $30.00. There are 21.783333 trips per day offered by Amtrak Thruway from Madison to Chicago and you can expect on average to pay $30.00 for a Amtrak Thruway ticket to Chicago. In Madison, Amtrak Thruway departs to Chicago from University of Wisconsin and one other station. In Chicago, Amtrak Thruway arrives at Union Station - 225 S Canal St,

An average trip on Amtrak Thruway from Madison to Chicago takes 3 hours and 50 minutes, while the fastest available Amtrak Thruway trip will get you to Chicago in 2 hours and 0 minutes,

On weekends, Amtrak Thruway offers 21.888889 trips per day. A one way ticket costs $30.00 for a weekend trip to Chicago.

Avg. Time
3h 50m
Avg. Price
$30.00

Van Galder

Book Van Galder from Madison to Chicago from $25.00. There are 35.704918 trips per day offered by Van Galder from Madison to Chicago and you can expect on average to pay $26.85 for a Van Galder ticket to Chicago. In Madison, Van Galder departs to Chicago from University of Wisconsin and one other station. In Chicago, Van Galder arrives at S Canal St north of Jackson Blvd,

An average trip on Van Galder from Madison to Chicago takes 3 hours and 51 minutes, while the fastest available Van Galder trip will get you to Chicago in 2 hours and 0 minutes,

On weekends, Van Galder offers 34.105263 trips per day. A one way ticket costs $26.96 for a weekend trip to Chicago.

Avg. Time
3h 51m
Avg. Price
$26.85

Plan your next adventure

There are 3 stations you could depart from, depending on the bus line you travel with. Most bus trips to Chicago will depart from these stations in Madison:
  • 4 Collins Ct
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Wisconsin
Buses arrive in Chicago at 6 stations, depending on which bus line you are traveling with. These are the main bus stations in Chicago for trips arriving from Madison:
  • S Canal St north of Jackson Blvd
  • Union Station - 225 S Canal St
  • W Polk St. btwn S Clinton St and S Canal St
  • 5800 N Cumberland Ave
  • Bus Station - 630 W Harrison St
  • Dan Ryan Bus Station

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