How to Get to Champaign
Willard Airport (map) is a regional airport operated by the University of Illinois and located roughly 20 minutes south of downtown Champaign. As of 2011, the only commercial flights to Willard Airport are on American Eagle, which flies to and from Willard Airport to Chicago and Dallas. The airport is served by a municipal bus line, the CUMTD No. 27 "Air Bus." This makes for a cheap and convenient option to campus or the downtown Champaign transit center. Fare is $1 each way and it operates 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily (except University breaks and major holidays). The "Air Bus" service maintains a very precise schedule, usually arriving at the airport at the bottom of the hour without delay.
A typical taxi fare between the airport and Urbana west of Vine Street is $14 for the first person and $10 for each additional person (not including tip). Car parking at Willard Airport (short- or long-term) costs a maximum of $5 a day. In contrast, all parking at nearby (45 mins away) Central Illinois Regional Airport (map) in Bloomington, Illinois is free. The nearest major airports are in Chicago, Midway, Indianapolis and Saint Louis. Land carriers such as Illini Shuttle, Greyhound, Burlington Trailways, and Amtrak connect Champaign-Urbana to these other cities and airports.
Burlington Trailways offers 2 daily frequencies for its east-west service between Champaign and Peoria and Galesburg, and to Danville and Indianapolis. Burlington Trailways buses are also sold as connecting Amtrak Thruway services for Amtrak passengers.
Danville Mass Transit operates a Champaign-Danville bus, using city transit-style buses. There are seven weekday round trips and five Saturday round trips. See the Danville Mass Transit website for details.
Greyhound Lines runs frequently between Chicago and Champaign-Urbana, as well as to/from Springfield and St. Louis.
Illini Shuttle by Suburban Express offers daily service between Champaign-Urbana and Chicago Airports.
Suburban Express offers reliable weekend scheduled services (Thursday-Monday) from various University points to various Chicagoland suburbs. Fares start at $20 each way when ordered online far in advance.
Megabus, a low-cost carrier, offers daily service to Champaign from Chicago and Memphis. Fares start at $1 each way when ordered far in advance. The bus stop is located along the north side of East Logan Street, west of Market Street.
Take a Train
Champaign-Urbana is on the Amtrak system, and is served by three regularly-scheduled train routes, the 58/59 City of New Orleans, the 390/391 Saluki and the 392/393 Illini. All trains run Chicago to Carbondale and the 58/59 continues southward to Memphis, Jackson, and New Orleans.
The train is an excellent option for traveling between Champaign-Urbana and downtown Chicago, with tickets costing as little as $15 each way if booked far enough in advance. Trip time to Chicago is about 2 hours and 50 minutes, and one can connect to the Amtrak national network there. Amtrak, the commercial bus lines, and the municipal bus system all arrive and depart from Illinois Terminal in downtown Champaign.
Interstate 74 runs east-west. To the east 120 miles is Indianapolis and the route continues to Cincinnati. To the west the road heads to Bloomington-Normal and continues to Peoria, Galesburg and the Quad Cities of Davenport/Moline/Rock Island/Bettendorf. Interstate 57 runs north to Chicago and south into Southern Illinois, joining up with I-55 to Memphis. Interstate 72 runs east from Hannibal/Quincy, Springfield and Decatur, terminating in Champaign.