Public Transportation in Midwest

Hi ChiefDelphi (It’s probably in the wrong place… Feel free to move it, if it is!),

I stay up till 3AM trying to figure something out; I have a blessing and a curse.

Blessing: I got in to Kansas University Honor Band

Curse: I can’t get there.

I can’t ask if someone’s going from Minnesota to Kansas that specific weekend (Feb 5th) but the actual point of this post is that I am wondering how you guys get around the Midwest through Public transit. (It’s pretty horrible compared to awesome coastal areas).

I looked up coach busses, trains, flights (but flights are too big of a hassle and too expensive). I’ve looked at Greyhound, Amtrak (needs to stop at chicago), Jefferson Lines, Northwest Airlines (again, too expensive), and I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting to include a really awesome and affordable public transport, but I can’t think of any. Do you know of any other modes?

Thank you,

Planes, trains and automobiles are pretty much it.

What’s the problem with Amtrak transfers in Chicago? Surely you’re not expecting a direct train from MN to KS? Heck, I can’t get from NYC to St Louis direct…

If flight costs are out-of-budget, trains are next, then Bus.


There are sites like to help coordinate car pools, but I think you would have to wait until much closer (perhaps uncomfortably close) to the day of the event to have any luck that way.

You might also consider looking into car rental, but that tends to be pricey for cross country drives (especially if you are under 25, and in some states it isn’t even an option if you are younger than that).

Well, it’s about a 7 hr drive from where I am (or cost of another ticket to Chicago, then a overnight stay since train to KS leaves 20 min earlier than the train that arrives at Chicago from Minneapolis)

The car is king around here- Kansas and Missouri.

Amtrak is a possibility, and then there is the bus.

If you could wait a few more decades, we’ll probably have high speed rail by then. :wink:

MegaBus may be an option to get you to Chicago. You could take the MegaBus late Thursday and get into Chicago early Friday then wait around to hop on either another MegaBus to Kansas City, then a shuttle to Lawrence or the Amtrak.

Or you could take the MegaBus Friday morning and hop on the Amtrak, but I think that might cut it a little close (15 min between arrival and departure).

Wow, thanks for the Megabus reminder. I see the stop every day when I commute to the University for some classes but completely forgot about it… Wow it’s cheap… (willing to sacrifice comfort for price). This might be a viable option…


Nothing (cheap, at least) will take you directly to Lawrence. Once you get to KC, you’ll probably have to take a taxi, or transfer to TheJo. It’s a hike to the Route A bus stop (you might be able to get a KCata bus in between Megabus and TheJo), but you can take that all the way to JCCC and transfer to the K-10 connector that will take you all the way to the KU campus.

I would look on google maps. Go into get directions and check the box that says “By public Transportation” I would think this would give you a good idea what is available.

*Note: I have never used it, even playing around, because where we live it is useless because of such a small town.

Most universities have ride share in some form. From a school like UM I am betting that someone is from Kansas and willing to share for the weekend.

I highly recommend the Megabus, its online only ticketing option weeds out the riffraf that you usually get on the Greyhound. Megabus also has free wifi for the duration of your trip which is pretty sweet. The bus picks you up in MN near the Metrodome or at the University stop however they only advertise one stop (weird I know).

I just took Megabus from Chicago to Minneapolis and it was wonderful, I honestly have no complaints, I wish I could say that about the greyhound back. I’ve also taken megabus to Indianapolis for IRI and found it great.

Likewise, once you get to Chicago you can hop on another bus to Kansas City. Amtrak is incredibly expensive these days and you would save a large amount of money taking the bus. The 15 minute transfer would not happen, due to our lovely weather the bus usually runs 30 minutes late.

If you want to fly to Kansas City you can take southwest, its pretty darn cheap, it flies out of MSP as well as MDW in Chicago.

If you choose to travel the bus system through Chicago and have a long wait feel free to let me know, I can show you around the city.