CHICAGO (CBS) — As if traveling around the holidays isn’t stressful enough, now the tram at O’Hare International Airport that is supposed to get you from one place to another isn’t going to be running.
CBS 2’s Yasmeen Hassan went to O’Hare to see what the holdup is – and what the alternatives are for people who are just trying to get in and out of the airport.
Delays in resuming service on the O’Hare People Mover mean everyone trying to go from one terminal to another – or to pick up a rental car – needs to leave the airport and get on a bus.
“I said, ‘Do I literally have to go out the building?’” And he said, He said, ‘Yes,’ He said, ‘Go right across the street, get on the shuttle, and you’re good to go,” one woman said.
For some, that is easier said than done – especially when you’re lugging around suitcases.
“I saw a couple old people. I felt sorry,” one young man said.
“If I didn’t have help, it’s hard,” the woman added.
Originally, the People Mover was supposed to be up and running in September. That later got pushed back to Thanksgiving, and now it is being delayed until next year – after the holidays.
The People Mover has been completely shut down since January.
“It was pretty crazy, actually – we had to go from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2,” a man said. “Yeah, it was quite a long walk”
The airport transit service says crews are working to make sure the People Mover is safe. Thus, you might see it running around O’Hare, but it’s not moving people just yet.
Crews have run into a mechanical issue they’re trying to fix. So in the meantime, everything is going to be a bus ride away.
The delays to the opening of the modernized People Mover follow a dispute between the city and the construction contractor responsible for the project.
The dispute between the Chicago Department of Aviation and the design-build contractor, Parsons Construction, resulted in a mediated settlement in August. The settlement established a new completion date for the People Mover, or Airport Transit System (ATS), of mid-November, according to a letter to the O’Hare Airport Community from Aviation Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee.
But the mechanical issues, and concerns about proper testing for the automated, driverless system that the People Mover trains will run on, has set the reopening back further.