A trip to Chicago for the National Restaurant Association trade show a while ago proved to be a commuting adventure - which thankfully had a plan B.

The 80-mile trip from my hometown to downtown Chicago is usually done on a non-stop regional bus and lasts a couple of hours. But on the day in question another bus that goes non-stop to O’Hare Airport was so full that overflow O’Hare travelers had to go on the downtown bus meaning the normally non-stop-to-downtown bus needed to make several stops at O’Hare before continuing the remaining 15 miles into Chicago.

Traffic gridlock that morning along with the extra stops at various O’Hare terminals would have delayed my arrival until well after the start of the show.

Plan B is the fact that one of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) subways runs from O’Hare to downtown. So by getting off at Terminal 2, heading down an escalator and shelling out a couple of bucks, I was able to continue on into the city arriving in plenty of time. The subway made many stops, but even then it kept well ahead of the gridlock.

All things considered, the non-stop regional bus is the best option all the way. After all, I can sleep on it in comfortable reclining seats and even be awaken by the driver once downtown. But it is good to have a backup plan. And thankfully the Chicago area has many public transportation options.