After various experiences with American public transportation, I booked my Amtrak ticket with trepidation. Would it take me twice the amount of time that it would take me to drive? Would it be dirty and unpleasant? Would I stick out like a sore thumb, being the only white person? (for an explanation of this comment, see my article “Racial segregation and the Midwest)
My fears were unfounded. The Amtrak was cheap (around $50 return), clean, and comfortable. Seeing as I don’t like driving in big cities, it was the perfect way to arrive in Chicago, as the friends I was staying in live in one of the beautiful buildings that make up the Chicago skyline, right next to Navy Pier.
So, if you’re planning a trip from Milwaukee to Chicago and you’ve had negative experiences on public transport in this region before, then know this: getting the Amtrak isn’t just about being green; it’s an all round better experience than driving yourself.