Transit home. CTA mid-South and Hyde Park routes. CTA News. Of Shuttles/UPass.
The University of Chicago/CTA bus routes and U of C evening campus bus service maps and schedules
service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Transit and Parking
Committee and the HPKCC website, www.hydepark.org
UC/CTA map with fare info.
Visit/print UC/CTA schedule. Visit/print UC/CTA 171 and 173 weekend schedule. Some links and contacts. Routes and schedules. Crisis resolved-#171 stop.
see New #173 for a future likely route revision.
May 8 2013 the CTA Board approved a 5-year renewal of the contract between U of C and CTA to operate the 4 local routes- 170, 171, 172, and 192.
#192 morning from Oglivie Center will exit the Drive at 47th, travel Lake Park with a new stop at 53rd and on to 59th Kimbark and Goldblatt Pavilion staring August 26 2013. (in afternoon this bus leaves from Goldblatt and 57th/Cottage and takes 55th St. equiv. and the Ryan back to Ogilvie).
A shuttle of some sort will serve 53rd St. (westward), Ellis, the Midway and back starting November 1 2013. Details incl. whether available to the general public tba.
Maps can be obtained in Reynolds Club lobby (when not out), 5706 S. University as well as the Transportation and Parking Office. They are also on the U of C's bus.uchicago.edu and http://www.yourcta.com/maps/bus/bus.html. Complaining/commenting/info.
May 14 2012, Monday, and May 17, Thursday, 4:30-5:30 pm. Forum on U of C Transportation and related provisions for safety- presentation of changes for 2012-13 and of student survery. Concerned about the future of SafeRide? Wondering about changes to the transportation system? In response to proposed changes to the transportation system for the 2012-13 school year, Student Government will be hosting two open forums with Theresa Fletcher, Director of Transportation & Parking, on Monday, May 14, and Thursday, May 17, from 4:30-5:30 pm in McCormick Tribune Lounge. The goal of the forums is to clarify the proposed changes to the transportation systems, address questions and concerns, and hear student feedback. They will be the exact same format - we are hosting two in order to reach as many students as possible. Most of the hour will be a Q&A session, preceded by a brief introduction by Theresa Fletcher.
New director of Transporatation is Theresa Fletcher. She reports to Marlon Lynch. Many students remain dissatisfied with recent changes and residents with loss of even early evening service. The late shuttle service was extended (with less service earlier) Changes are being proposed to service 2012-13- forums and surveys held.
About Morris, from March 3, 2010 Hyde Park Herald. By Sam Cholke.
Morris, now the Director, says there are no plans from major changes to bus or parking operations. A major transportation study is underway, due in June, but things are operating pretty well, he told the Herald. They continue to look at innovative options for parking including lifts.
Morris said he is sympathetic to businesses on 53rd who see fewer students since the dorm moved south-- and fewer students are riding. He asked businesses to give data on when students are most likely to frequent there.
May 18, 2009- Routes 171 and 172 are now on Bustracker- http://www.bustracker.com.
#171 route is changed-and
changed back to the old route and something close to the old midaday frequency-
but stops at 6 pm (as does #172).
Among 3 routes cut by CTA in August 2009 are the 173 UC to downtown and Lakeview, 174 UC to the Green and Red Lines. Hours of the 171 and 172 are cut-- the latter for sure will stop at 6 pm (which some surely find a pinch).
Hotline: 773 795-6108 (5-6108), firstname.lastname@example.org
#173 downtown-Lakeview and #174 Green and Red Lines were eliminated. and not reconfigured. The University had justified them as necessary to student and staff safety and convenience.
Also, #171 Changed back Dec. 20 2009 to its old route and doubled midday frequency, but continues to now end at 6 pm.
There is a new downtown shuttle (to Roosevelt Green and Red Line stations).
And a new non CTA route will be tried for the south and west sector: 55th, Ellis, looping at 61st or to the Cottage 63rd Green Line, east on to hit approx. Woodlawn and 63rdd, north to 60th, east then north on Woodlawn to 57th or 55th . (In the July 1 Herald, Sharon Ringel Glick says the new route as described is poorly constructed, and should go up University (note- it may well end by turning west from Woodlawn Av. on 58th and up University).
Alderman Hairston says in Herald letter July 8 2009 that once again the U of C is not communicating on changes or holding public meetings-- these are public transit routes, not just UC although UC subsidized.
Sharon Ringel Glick's letter of July 1 is another reflection of disregard that the University of Chicago's Department of Campus Transportation and Parking has for the community surrounding the university and for its elected officials. The Fifth Ward office was not notified of this proposed new No 175 bus route, and there has been no opportunity for community residents to hear and comment on its impact. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that changes were instituted without informing the public or our office. In 2008, a bus route on University Avenue was changed without any notification, and it was rectified only when by office requested a public meeting. ...We coexist best when there is communication flowing.
Note that CTA fares went up .25 to .50 cents January 1, 2009, including on cards and passes. The standard cash ride for buses and trains will be $2.25.
January 2009 U of C selected security and transportation expert Marlon Lynch Associate Vice President for Safety and Transportation. At the same time, Brian Shaw sent an apology to students for the winter breakdown.-
On the barely advertised meeting on the 2009 route changes. Aldermen Hairston and Cochran, who have complained about lack of input meetings, showed up but left before the meeting started. Herald, August 5, 2009. By Kate Hawley. Perhaps the title should have been "Few (show up to) balk at bus routes cut."
The University of Chicago's plan to cancel two of its bus routes drew complaints from only about half a dozen people at a sparsely attended community meeting Thursday. The buses, No. 173 and No. 174, are operated by the [CTA] and paid for by the university. The CTA held the hearing at the university's School of Social Service Administration ... to gather public comments for review by its board. The university announced in June that it plans to cut the two bus routes, citing low ridership and alternate service available on other routes.
The No. 173, which connects the university with the Lop and and the Lake view neighborhoods, operates on weekday afternoons running northbound. It average only 172 passengers per day, and alternate service is available on the No. 2 and No. 6 buses, according to materials handed out by CTA staff at the hearing. The No. 274 offers service from campus to the Red and green Line stations on West Garfield Boulevard. It runs during weekday rush periods and late evenings on Friday and Saturdays during the school year. The CTA pegged ridership at about 427 people per weekday. Alternate service exists on the No 55 and No. X55.
Justin Lemberg, an employee and graduate student at the university, said both the 173 and 174 provide a quick way out of the neighborhood. "I can't tell you how psychologically important it is for students to have a way to get downtown when you're stuck in Hyde Park -- you know, a secure route," he said. Lemberg and several others at the hearing said the 174 comes more regularly, moves faster and is less crowded than the 55 or X55. "The 174's strength is that is has a schedule," he said. "I love that schedule."
Robert Daniels, a Hyde Park resident, said he makes frequent use of the 174 and suggested more people might use it if they knew about it. However, he said, "Since the university is subsidizing these routes, if they figure their budget could be put to better use because of low ridership, I guess there's nothing we can do about that."
Fewer than 10 members of the public attended the meeting -- which several people suggested might have been different had the hearing been held during the school year, when more students are on campus. Aldermen Willie Cochran (20th) and Leslie Hairston (5th) showed up initially but left before the meeting started. Hairston said she was upset that the university had not consulted her about reconfigurations of its bus routes.
Spring 2009- Unified approach: Major changes including new route, restructuring of 171, more coming as UC adjusts to coming move of students from East Hyde Park to South Campus and to experience and increase in usage, need for safety. Note separately that the Phoenix and Gargoyle routes have been dropped.
Changes set out for comment and tweaking include a new route- a close-in north-south day route that would also connect well into Woodlawn and to the Green Line.
They also include the thrust of 171 from (at least far) East Hyde Park to connecting to 53rd (and possibly 51st- not said in the report- then likely down S. Hyde Park back to 55th. Residents and those trying to connect campus, students, and the business district would certainly welcome the tie along Lake Park and 53rd (55th which has all trains stopping would be even more securely tied to 53rd-51st and campus). But there will still be sufficient demand to the east to have the bus come back down S. HP, turning and stooping at 55th. Still left is need for a shuttle on 53rd, but that may have to wait for new businesses and development).
Changes would make the evening shuttles serve students better- and the Safe Ride be located at likely spots instead of waiting for a call and could include text-messaging and tracking/bus locators. (Checking-- it's reported that you can already track the day CTA campus buses). Still noted in the report as weakly served day and especially night is the northwest quadrant of the community, which has many students, with new apartments coming on line.
Not discussed in the report is restructuring of the 173 and 174, under consideration but expensive.
Maroon, April 17, 2009. Admin. to consider new CTA route, shuttle service. By Asher Klein
Proposals for a new bus route and revamped shuttle coverage were unveiled by a contractor employed by the University at a meeting Wednesday night. The proposals, which include a new CTA route along with a modified #171 route, reworked shuttle service with expanded coverage south of campus and a quicker-response Safe-Ride, were presented by Mitch Skyer, president of Solstice Transportation group, and Brian Shaw, director of transportation at the University.
Entitled UchicaGO, the plan seeks to unify all University-operated buses into one comprehensive system with brochures, m apes, its own website, and possibly a text-message alert system to provide students easy access to transportation information .Wednesday's presentation, held in Harper Memorial Library, was the first chance for students, faculty, and staff to see how the University may support its southward expansion with transportation infrastructure.
Central to those plans is a proposed CTA bus that would travel down South Ellis Avenue from East 55th Street and circle immediately south of campus, going as far west as South Cottage Grove and as far south as East 63rd Street.
[Map shows Temporarily named 172 1/2 as initial concept 55th-Ellis, south on Ellis, west from 61st-Ellis, south on Drexel, south on Cottage to 63rd, east on 63rd to Woodlawn, north on Woodlawn to 61st, west on 61st to Ellis, north on Ellis to 60th, thence echoing 171 and 172 east on 60th to Dorchester, north to 59th, 59th west to Woodlawn, north (different: to 58th thence west on 58th to University), 58th and University north to 55th, then back west to Ellis.]
The University also plans to expand its South shuttle route as it expects the number of residents in the area to double with the construction of the new dormitory. However, data presented at the meeting showed a considerable number of University-affiliates -- around 800 -- already living in the area. "What's most interesting to see me is the density [of University-affiliated residents south of campus] which is totally underserved right now," Shaw said.
He also pointed to the northwest portion of Hyde Park -- between East 51s and 55th Streets, and bounded by South Cottage Grove adn south Ellis Avenues -- as being poorly served by the bus system.
The reworked shuttle routes will strive to be within three blocks of residences. Skyer also mentioned that they would try to increase shuttle service to every six or 12 minutes during peak times, and every 10 or 15 minutes all other times.
Skyer said that, should the University invest in it, GPS technology could be combined with text messages to provide students with real-time bus locations and wait-times. He described a system in which a student texts his or her location to a number and receives a reply with the wait-time. "That technology would be very valuable and it also adds a lot to safety," he said.
Skyer and Shaw also mentioned a change to the #171 route, which would take the bus away from Lake Shore Drive and onto Lake Park Avenue, where there a number of businesses. Shaw said the aim of this move is to "bookend the commercial area on 53rd street" with bus service. The #172 currently runs to a shopping center on East 53rd street an d South Woodlawn Avenue.
Another proposal was for SafeRide to operate what are being temporarily called "Troll Patrols." "At certain times of night, we'll take buses and park them where they need to be, like cabs outside of nightclubs," Shaw said. "We know where you all like to be and where you all like to go at night." The Troll Patrol would mean quicker SafeRide response times to those places. Shaw said this system puts th University "in a better position to assist people." The current system doesn't deploy vans until dispatchers receive a call.
Skyer stressed that, while the study is concluded and the proposition is "in the final stretch," the final bus routes may not be identical to those presented. "No plan survives first contact" with administrations, Skyer said. There will be another town meeting in May when the UchicaGO system is revised. The plan , which will go into effect in the fall, is the first revision to the University's transportation system in two years.
Update at the Nov. 10 2008 TIF meeting. The University discussed and is seems to be considering or planning changes with bus routes in conjunction with new dorm; 53rd intersect possible but non-CTA routes availability to the general public stymied by liability, costs.
U. of C. Parking Demand Management Program and U. of C./CTA Hyde Park routes:
Brian Shaw, Director of Transportation Services at U. of C., explained the partnership of the University with CTA to provided free transportation to U. of C. students and faculty and, in some cases, availability to non-university people at a fee.
Route 171 serves the Shoreland and Broadview residences during a.m. and p.m. rush hours along 55th St. to Ellis. The 172 serves Regent's Park, 53rd and East Hyde Park Blvd. during morning rush hours. A Shoreland/Stony Island route shuttles students from Shoreland Hall to campus.
Routes that non-university riders can use include CTA Route 173, a 3:30-6:30 express to downtown and north to Belmont: Route 174, a rush hour service M-F and weekend evening and late night service from Garfield Stations; CTA Route linking Metra's Union and Ogilvie stations during weekday rush hours.
Evening bus routes provide U. of C. ID holders with transportation to train stations; academic evening routes to large housing spots and around Hyde Park.
SafeRide provides point-to-point service in areas covered by the U. of C. Police Dept., available 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Sun.-Wed. and 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thurs.-Sat. Call 773 702-2022 for this service, which is available to everyone concerned about safety during those times.
Mr. Shaw emphasized the challenges he faces given the increasing ridership on some routes. He also explained that the U. of C. has opted to cover its students and faculty, not the general public, because of liability issues and costs. However, everyone can use university parking free of charge after 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. Monthly parking permits for a fee are also available. A campus transportation study will begin this winter to evaluate all aspects of the University's transit system given the impact of new housing opening up at 61st and Ellis. An interface with 53rd Street is possible. Web links are at Bus.uchicago.edu; Transportation.uchicago.edu; Parking.uchicago.edu; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
In fall 2008 the University
Department of Transportation and Parking added on a pilot basis two
evening (from 5 pm) inner circulator shuttles seven days a week, in
addition to the existing evening routes (Central, North, East, South... ). They
are available free to persons with UC ID (and an accompanying person without
ID). They run 5 pm to midnight Sunday-Wednesday and 5 pm to 6 am Thursday through
Saturday. Service "stops" (actually flag at any corner) are supposed
to be every 10 minutes starting on the hour, respectively from Ellis for phoenix
and Reynolds for Maroon, provided by 4 buses. (Every 20 minutes during academic
breaks.) These year-round routes are in addition to the CTA-UC routes, which
are mostly daytime but some in the evening open to all who pay fare.
Phoenix Route: basically north south counterclockwise along Ellis, 60th, Woodlawn-59th-University and 55th back to Ellis.
Maroon Route: basically east west clockwise along 57th, Stony Island, 60th, and Cottage Grove back to 57th. Note that for staff as well as students this provides fast, safe routes to every bus route out of the neighborhood except (#10) and including four (+?) express routes including to downtown with access also to the Els and Metra.
UC Students in April 2007 voted 1,492-1,293 in an advisory referendum to approve joining the UPASS unlimited CTA boarding for students of participating schools (which can mean a UC Division as well as the whole institution). (It's really a bargain cost cost- sharing pre-pay, as it comes out of student fees.) Currently, the UC administration is not enthusiastic about this idea, in part because UC is much less a commuter school than the 42 schools now in the plan. But, if it happens, it has the potential to unravel the CTA/UC and Community route system. Nevertheless, the University's commitment to full service to students /staff and the community as it fits the former is firm. Indeed, the University as part of its green and sustainable commitment, promises to more sustainable transportation options by the end of 2009.
Future of #171 stop at University/57th was in doubt after snafu with alderman over protocols, parking; students were up in arms; administration met with Hairston and apologized. The crisis was over by April 2008 Ald. Hairston called public meeting for April 9. All testified in favor of keeping the stop as is. Granted.
Chicago Maroon, March 11, 2008. By Supriya Sinhababu
Alderwoman Leslie Hairston has agreed in a letter to President Robert Zimmer to delay her final decision on the removal of the #171 bus stop at South University Avenue and east 57th Street until she has held a meeting to gauge community opinion, University administration said on Friday in a discussion about the stop.
"After conversations we've had with the alderman this week, we're hopeful that we're going to resolve this issue," said associate Vice President of Community and Government Affairs Susan Campbell in a prepared statement.
The date and location for t he alderman's community meeting have not yet been set. Administrators said Hairston had suggested Mandel Hall as the meeting place and that they had notified her of the University's spring break dates to accommodate students interested in attending. "No one should change their spring break plans," said Assistant Vice President for Student Life Bill Michel. "It is our expectation that she will have it soon after [students] get back."
The administration also publicly apologized for failing to confirm the relocation of the stop with the alderman last summer. "In the past, the university has worked with the alderman's office, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and the Chicago Department of Transportation to locate bus stops all around campus as a kind of collaborative process," Campbell said. So we apologize for that. It was an error on our part."
Several community meetings were held before the University implemented CTA routes around campus in 2000, said Cheryl Gutman, the deputy dean of students for housing and dining services. "I think the aldermen's concerns are legitimate," Gutman said. "Though from our perspective it's fine, there are non-University people in the neighborhood who have needs and I think it's a legitimate concern on her part to make sure all the voices are heard."
In addition to four University administrators, about 20 students attended the Kent Hall meeting to discuss the bus stop issue. Some.. expressed concern about whether trading four parking spaces merited the stop's removal ..inconveniencing hundreds of kids a day." Some students asked whether the removal of the #171 stop signals the beginning of a campaign to eliminate additional bus stops. Gutman responded, saying students should not be concerned that the removal of one stop will lead to similar eliminations. "In my experience, having worked with the CTA and the transportation program for many years, problems are not unusual--this one's a little more dramatic," she said. "But somehow we always manage to work through them. And the system has improved every year."
Many students also questioned the alderman's motive for removing the stop. "As far as I can tell, she hasn't presented a clear argument for why the bus stop should be moved,"...[student who created a Facebook group}. "If it's the case that there is not enough parking, then that's not a good place because it's not central to any residential area.. And if it's the case that she just wasn't asked before they moved the stop, then that's a personal vendetta against the bus stop, which is a really silly thing to do to students at large."
Some students were also concerned about the alderman's procedure for eliminating the stop. "..."she's abandoned the process herself..."
Embattled #171 bus stop will stay intact, U of C officials admit failure to follow due process in #171 bus stop relocation
Chicago Maroon, April 11, 2008. By Supriya Sinhababu
After month-long negotiations, Facebook protests, and squabbles over parking shortages, the future of the #171 bus stop is safe for now.
Fifth ward Alderman Leslie Hairston announced her decision to keep the stop to an audience of about 40 University and community members in a meeting in Hutchinson Commons on Wednesday. Students, staff, and neighborhood residents attended the community meeting to determine the fate of the disputed #171 bus stop at South University Avenue and #at 57hg Street.
:Since all the comments have been to keep the bus stop, we’re going to keep the bus stop,” Hairston said. There was unanimous agreement among the meeting’s attendees that t he community process was beneficial and that t he stop should remain at its current location at the expense of the four parking spaces it takes up.
“The alderman’s insistence that the decisions that impact the community should be discussed like this is critical for the long term benefit of the community,” Hyde Park resident Roger Huff said. “We don’t elect the University to speak for us on municipal matters, we don’t elect the CTA, we elect her,” one of Hairston’s constituents said. “That said, Alderman, I was really disappointed in hearing that the concerns of four automobile riders were being weighed against hundreds of bus riders’.”
The alderman emphasized the importance of community meetings in striking a balance between the interests of students and those of her constituents. “Even if the decision is made to keep the bus stop there, [constituents] still like to get the notice,” Hairston said, early in the meeting. “They like to get in on the process, and t hey like to speak on its impact on them.”
When she introduced the alderman at the start of the meeting, Associate Vice President of Community and Government Affairs Susan Campbell acknowledged that “the University did not follow due process” when it relocated the bus stop from the north side of the intersection last summer without notifying the alderman’s office.
Hairston’s decision was met with approval, if not surprise, by most attendees. “I heard a rumor that if the process as followed and people were okay with I, then we might have a happy conclusion, so I’m really glad that’s the way it went down,” fourth-year Student Government president Scot Duncombe said. “We didn’t see a horde of angry community members or the four people who live in the Quad Cub.”
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Government and Community Relations official Darud Akbar was also in attendance at the meeting. “I didn’t know what to expect—I was just texting my boss to say that for the most part the meeting went well,” Akbar said in an interview after the meeting. “I was just attending to hear what the University and community concerns were.”
The University and community members who commenced on the bus stop issue also offered solutions for balancing parking spaces and bus stops in the future. some suggested installing parking meters to keep drivers from hogging spots, or converting bus stops into street parking during the night hours. The alderman said she did not favor the former solution but said she will ask her staff to look into the latter one.
Director of Campus Transportation and Parking Services Brian Shaw said that the alderman’s insistence on community process in the bus stop issue will be important to remember when the university makes infrastructural decisions in the future. “With the building of the new dorm and the shifting of the University’s center to South Campus, we’re going to have to keep this type of process in mind,” Shaw said.
Duncombe, however, noted that parking may not have been at the heart of the month-long debate. Unfortunately, as it often is with Chicago politics, it’s very rarely about the bus stop,” said Duncombe. “It’s about what’s going on to decide where the bus stop ends up.”
From Herald coverage of April 16,2008. Hairston to bring back bus stop. by Sam Cholke.
A contentious struggle between riders of a recently established --and then removed-- bus stop and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) has come to an abrupt end. "Since all the comments have been to keep the bus stop, we're going to keep the bus stop," Ald. Leslie Hairston [said.]..."this is a really easy process," Hairston said, adding that she was never opposed to the bus stop, but was opposed to how the process of installing i was carried out. ... Hairston said she represents two different segments of one larger community. "When decisions are made that affect the community, I have to bring these two communities together," she said. Hairston said she was trying to maintain an open process, so everyone's voice is heard." Top
SafeRide evening program continues to have delays, other difficulties
Set up to ensure students can get home safely even after the evening bus runs end and beefed up after the murder of graduate student Amadou Cisse (two more vans) , SafeRide continues to experience wait-time delays and complaints. A major reason is flag-down stops as well as abuse to go party-to-party. Dispatching problems including need for them having mobile cell phone service contributed, and temporary unmarked buses. Under consideration are rerouting shuttles and adding a walking escort service. Also, it will not help those who want to go to places between say Balbo or Congress and say Madison (incl. Roosevelt U, DePaul, college co-campus, Art Institute, Symphony Center...).
Note, the following article indicates that the bus would not continue to/originate from Halsted and Belmont It would connect in South Loop and downtown to all the "el" lines, not just Red (and via them or CTA bus to train stations) and a host of bus lines in all directions as well as be much faster. Those not living or working near campus (Reynolds Club) would have to get there (or walk from it, including at night) to use the route. Not addressed here is the problems of commuters to the isolated U of C Press building.
New bus route could improve downtown access. Chicago Maroon, May 6, 2008. By Adrian Florido
If approved, a new campus bus route could significantly reduce travel time between downtown and the U of C campus beginning in the fall. The transportation Office is awaiting word from the Office of the Provost on whether to begin implementation of a new #173 bus route that would offer express service between th Reynolds Club and the downtown Gleacher Center near East Wacker Drive and North Michigan Avenue.
The bus would operate both northbound and southbound runs, and along th way would make limited stops at the Roosevelt and State/Lake Red Line Stations, said Brian Shaw, director of the Transportation Office.
Unlike the #6 CTA route, which many Hyde Parkers use to travel downtown, the revised #173 will not make additional steps either in Hyde Park or in the Loop.
The current #173 route, which is operated by the CTA but paid for almost entirely by the University, offers service from campus through downtown and to the North Side, but runs northbound during the afternoon rush hour and offers no southbound service. The #192 shuttle that runs between the University of Chicago Hospitals and downtown also runs on a limited rush hour schedule.
Current ridership on the #173 is about 200 people, said Jarrod Wolf, a member of College Council who worked with Shaw to draft the proposal. "We decided that because th #173 is rarely used an only goes north... we would take that bus which is highly inefficient and change it into this express service," Wolf said.
As proposed, the new route will make trips to and from downtown all day and run later on weekends, Shaw said. "The concept is to have a #173 route operate throughout the morning and then have a midday run and then have service during the evening rush hour and into the more late night hours, he said.
The inclusion of stops at one South Loop and one downtown El location would offer students an alternative to the 55th Street Red Line stop that is one of the only current options for students who live close to campus and are returning from downtown and the North Side during the late night hours. Many students have expressed safety concerns over having to wait for the #55 bus that operates between that station and Hyde Park. The CTA also operates a University-subsidized #174 route between that stop and the Reynolds Club.
If implemented, the revised #173 route will allow students to board the bus at either of the downtown Red Line stations where it will stop and ride it directly to the Reynolds Club. The route will also eliminate the need for students living on or immediately near campus to walk to and from the #6 bus stops at t he eastern end of Hyde Park.
According to Shaw and Wolf, because of the closure of the Shoreland at the end of the next academic year and the subsequent opening of the new dorm on East 60th Street and South Ellis Avenue, the route could eventually include a stop at that location. The route could also benefit the increasing number of students electing to live outside of Hyde Park, especially in the South Loop, and Graduate School of Business students who regularly commute between Hyde Park and the downtown Gleacher Center.
But the proposal is contingent upon allocation of funds for the route in the 2008-2009 University budget. because the route will be requested by the University, the CTA will require the route to be almost entirely subsidized. Similar to the #174 bus that operates between the Reynolds Club and the 55th street Red Line station, students will have to pay regular CTA fares for the service because it will make connections to CTA transfer points. But the #173's specialized ridership will be unlikely to entirely offset costs, at least initially, Shaw said. According to Shaw, if allotted funding for th change, his office would work with the CTA over the summer in hopes of making the new route available by the start of the next school year. "I think it's just a matter of the university supporting us in the way that we would need them to support us, which would be financially," Wolf said.
The Transportation Office should know later this month whether the new route has received University approval, Shaw said.
Maroon Viewpoints, May 9, 2008. Greasing the Wheels [praises and raises issues on 173 change.]
Getting out of Hyde Park can be a bit of a chore for students. Most buses connecting the University with the rest of the city are inconvenient for a majority of the campus and oftentimes prove unreliable; those that bring riders directly from the heart of campus to the Loop and the North Side are primarily intended for faculty and staff and, accordingly, only run during rush hours. The Metra is rarely utilized for similar reason-- with the exception of rush hour, service is excruciatingly intermittent. The recent proposal by the Transportation Office to reroute the #173 bus wouldn't eleviate all of these problems, but funding from the Provost would be an important advance toward improving the ability of students to easily explore downtown Chicago.
As it stands, the $173 route includes two-dozen stops and takes more than an hour to make its way from the Lab School to Belmont. If, for example, a student wanted to go from the Reynolds Club to the Gleacher Center, he or she would have to sit through seven stops over a period of about 45 minutes. On the new route, the bus would make only a few stops: the Reynolds Club, the Roosevelt and State/Lake Red Line Stations, and the Gleacher Center as well as possibly the new dorm, once it is constructed). This would slash travel times, while providing riders easy access to downtown El stops and popular destinations such as the Roosevelt Road Target and AMC River East.
Perhaps the worst aspect of th the current #173 is its infrequency. Those seeking to head north on a weekday afternoon probably find the bus satisfactory. Those looking to return to campus from downtown or to travel anywhere outside of 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays must look elsewhere. The rerouting proposal includes extended late-night hours, weekend service , and a southbound version, addressing all of these problems.
An additional benefit of the proposed rerouting is safety: Instead of having to wait for the #55 late t night at the exposed Garfield stops, students could simply ride the new #173 all the way back to campus.
One potential concern about a new #173 route is its priced tag, but this can be offset, in part, by scrapping the University-subsidized #174 bus. The bus, which currently runs from the Reynolds Clubs to the Garfield El stations, might bed marginally more convenient for some students but has proven little more than a redundant version of the #55 bus.
Leaving Hyde Park can often be a journey in itself. Any improvement to the current weak transportation options can only help the student body. Overhauling the #173 may provide a much-needed jolt of energy for a system that often seem as if it's running on empty.
Report on the March 14, 2007 public hearing on making the new routes permanent.
Attendance and commenting persons were modest in numbers, mostly residents and UC staff and alumni. CTA and UC staff were a sizable component.
CTA proposed to make the routes 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 192 permanent although changes can be made at any time, generally on a 6 month trial basis. A history summary and maps and schedules (except for 170 and 171) were distributed. The presenter made it clear that all can board any of these buses (some being free to University-affiliated). The U of C heavily subsidizes these routes. The agreement between CTA and the U of C renewed in 2006 is for 5 years.
The presenter said maps for #s 170 and 171 were not printed because with start of spring quarter the scheduling (not routes) of 170 and 171 will be changed--namely elimination for 170 of midday service and increased frequency during rush hour.
Members of the audience were allowed 3 minutes each to speak. Although there were about a dozen CTA managers and officials present (including vice presidents) from planning, public relations, and operations, they would only answer questions one on one afterwards; speakers could only make comments to the mic, facing away from the audience. Several commenters (including Sue Purrington from Ald. Hairston's office) criticized in detail this format as well as tardy and insufficient public notice and scheduling when the main market, UC students, were not available. One speaker said the CTA should have brought breakdowns of route and area performance metrics justifying their proposal to make routes permanent. These would include ridership,on-time terminal departures, on-time mean miles between failures, maintenance record and miles including for the lifts, cleanliness, safety and other incidents, friendliness compliment, affordability, also on seniority an turnover of drivers and supervisors.
There were several compliments of provision of service for the residents as well as the university community, and of drivers. at the other end of the spectrum was criticism of the #174 as a costly, largely underutilized, duplicative and environmentally unfriendly service pandering a limited UC contingent (although the (resultant?) installation of a shelter at the Red Line was praised by one.) They would rather have #55 service improved, especially night.
Comments included the following
Other facts learned from
CTA staff after the meeting: CTA would like to keep regular drivers on routes,
but union agreements and driver route selection rules make this impossible-
drivers in fact are about to select again.
A manager admits CTA miscalculated with buying the new small buses because it underestimated the increase in ridership on 171 that came with an increase in frequencies and a more direct route to campus. CTA's answer? Increase the frequency/shorten intervals more;try to get more 40 foot buses especially for 171.
CTA has serious problems with routes 14 and 26; some suggestions were offered.
CTA is moving towards dispatching to maintain the right intervals rather than a schedule (suggested at HPKCC meetings with CTA years ago.)
History and what the routes are: (CTA handout document)
On September 18k 2000, the CTA and University of Chicago entered into a five-year agreement to provide service on four routes, the #170, #171, #172, and #173 that serve the University campuses in Hyde Park and the Gleacher Business Center and the surrounding Hyde Park/Kenwood neighborhood. On August 18, 2005, an amendment was made to extend the term of the agreement for an additional year. On January 11, 2006, CTA and the University of Chicago entered into an agreement establishing bus route #192, operating between Ogilvie and Union rail stations and the University of Chicago Hospitals in Hyde Park. On August 9, 2006, a new five-year agreement was adopted to include the four existing University of Chicago routes, with some modifications, the #192, as well as a new route the #174. The six routes have been operating as a 180-day experiment. It is recommended that the routes be made permanent. The routes are as follows:
#170 U of C-Midway. Operates weekday between 57th Street Metra Station at 57th /Stony Island and Cottage Grove and the Midway Plaisance. The route was changed in the fall of 2006 to operate clockwise, instead of counter clockwise, at the east end between the Midway Plaisance at Stony Island and 57th Street during the afternoon.
#171 U of C-Hyde Park. The route operates between 54th/Shore Drive and 60th/Ellis. The route was changed in the fall of 2006 to operate west and east on 55th street, and north on University instead of operating on 56th Street and Stony Island to 59th. Service operates every day from late August through mid-June and weekdays only during the summer.
#172 U of C-Kenwood. The #172 operates between E. Hyde Park Boulevard/East End an 60th/Ellis. the route was changed in the fall of 2006 to eliminate operating on 49th Street between Blackstone and Woodlawn. Service operates every day from late August through mid-June and weekdays only during the summer.
#173 U of C-Lakeview Express. The #173 operates between 59th/Kimbark and Belmont/Sheridan from late August through mid-June. The route previously operated bi-directional, every day, in the evenings. The current service operates northbound only during the weekday PM rush period.
#174 U of C-Garfield Stations. A new route was created operating between the Garfield Red Line station on 55th street and Woodlawn/57th every day from late August through mid-June. Service operates during weekday rush periods, and into the late evening on Fridays and Saturdays.
#192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express. The route operates between the Ogilvie Transportation Center at Clinton/Madison and the University of Chicago Hospitals at 59th/Drexel. Service operates weekday rush periods, southbound in the morning and northbound in the afternoon.
The modifications made to some of the services in the experiment were based on university and community input.... Top
A bus has been added to
#170 for morning and afternoon rush hour to get 10 minute service and making
better connections to Metra. Nothing is said in the Maroon report about ending
midday service--will try to confirm.
#171 will be at Reynolds Club on the hour and half hour from 11 to 3 to try to ensure dependability and match class let-out.
The Shoreland Shuttle is back between 11 and 3, using Stony Island and 59th University Avenue and back via 55th. This will double capacity in those hours. Not said is whether this will be a student-only, no stops before campus service.
But some students told the Maroon the problem is really one of capacity (overcrowding) and bus timing coordination. The Transportation and Parking Office says it will conduct a campus-wide survey.
Fall 2008- in addition to the substantial streamlining of the evening bus service (for those with UC ID or accomp. by one without), late van, umbrella, etc., in fall 2008 the University Department of Transportation and Parking added on a pilot basis two evening (from 5 pm) inner circulator shuttles seven days a week, in addition to the existing evening routes (Central, North, and... ). They are available free to persons with UC ID (and an accompanying person without ID). They run 5 pm to midnight Sunday-Wednesday and 5 pm to 6 am Thursday through Saturday. Service "stops" are supposed to be every 12 minutes provided by 4 buses. These year-round routes are in addition to the CTA-UC routes, which are mostly daytime but some in the evening open to all who pay fare. Note that for staff as well as students this provides fast, safe routes to every bus route out of the neighborhood except (#10) and including four (+?) express routes including to downtown with access also to the Els and Metra.
basically north south counterclockwise along Ellis, 60th, Woodlawn-59th-University
and 55th back to Ellis.
Maroon Route: basically east west clockwise along 57th, Stony Island, 60th, and Cottage Grove back to 57th.
The University and student
groups have so far been unable to come up with a viable agreement for a shuttle
to the airports. The Inter-House Council will try to find a revised proposal.
Besides the fees and need to tailor the route, special driver permits are required
to service Chicago's airports. Buses cost $60 an hour. Brian Shaw, UC Transp.
director, recommended using the CTA.
However, for spring break, Student Government was able to hire 14 Laidlow buses, for a cost that didn't break the bank, to give free rides to airports to over 400 students on very short notice. It wants to repeat, but the University transp. office suggests using the existing airport shuttle co., South Side based Omega, and will not pick up the cost.
Service has been increased on the #171 to 6 minutes apart, 6-10 am and 6-8 pm. More changes are coming c. April 1, including elimination of mid-day service on 170 and 171. We will publish new schedule information as it becomes available.
Schedules change during off-quarter periods. Evening (non-CTA) campus bus service is restricted to use by authorized students and staff. The University also provides umbrella escort and late night van service to categories of registered UC students and staff.
The regular public CTA routes can be used by the public by paying the regular fare. University students ride free on all the routes except 173; faculty and staff including Hospitals ride free on 170, 171 and 172 only. Routes 170, 171, 172, and 173 are designed in part to mesh with Hyde Park and Kenwood CTA routes 1, 2, 4, 6, 28, 51, 55, X55, and 61 and Metra Electric. Within a short walk is route 10 (Museum).
You can buy pre-value Transit Cards and select passes at the Chicago Card Office and the Parking Office. Passes include $5 one day, $20 7-day, $75 30 day starting with first day of use. Cannot be shared or recharged.
Note, the evening routes, under a new company, have been streamlined and changed from A-F to north, east, and central, and south. The Transportation Office is taking the service over and acquiring new buses. On academic year, with reduced service in interims and summer. Sunday-Wednesday 6 pm- 2 am, Thursday-Saturday 6 pm-6 am. All depart westbound from Regenstein Library on 57th on the 00, 20, and 40. See schedule after CTA/UC daytime.
New routes and their maps: http://www.yourcta.com/maps/bus/bus.html
of C transit website: www.rh.uchicago.edu/buses
U of C transit e-mail: email@example.com. This has online comment form
Campus bus information: 773 702-3988.
U of C Transportation and Parking Manager Brian Shaw: http://home.uchicago.edu/~bshaw/. 773 834-2714
CTA campus route supervisor: Mitchell Ware
CTA website: www.transitchicago.com
CTA Customer Assistance: 1-888-YOUR-CTA (968-7282) firstname.lastname@example.org.
General transit information: 312 836-7000 (5 am-1 am)
Notice: #172 uses Woodlawn, as do 173 and 174), rather than University (which only 171 uses), on the outbound leg. In January 2007 Service intervals were very substantially shortened weekdays on #171 between 8 and 10 am and 6 and 8 pm and on #172 the same morning times.
Transportation and Parking Office number: 773 702-8969
This is a basic outline. There have been changes since, but few drastic. Start date is August 27, the UC/CTA route changes and the five year contract having been approved by the CTA board. Note, there is no longer single-bus late service to downtown and beyond, and no late service connecting to downtown except Friday and Saturday (not in summer). New routes and their maps: http://www.yourcta.com/maps/bus/bus.html
From the Conference Reporter, September 2006 (parts about UC/CTA routes- rest is in the Transit homepage
By Gary Ossewaarde
Major changes to UC/CTA bus routes (intended to serve the general as well as university community), renewed complaints about bunching on the #6 Jackson Park Express, and collisions between pedestrians and bicyclists, dominate the transportation and mobility scene in our community this fall.
The University of Chicago and CTA have renewed their service contract for another
five years and added a second new route within a year. Last February, UC/CTA
inaugurated public-accessible #192 service that goes mornings from Ogilvie and
Union stations to the Hospitals Goldblatt entrance (860 E. 59th Street) and
mid afternoon-early evening to the stations.
Beginning August 27, riders have another route, with longer hours providing access to downtown and beyond. #174 shuttle between the U of Campus and the 55th/Garfield Green and Red Line CTA rail stations was approved in August by the CTA board for a 180-day trial.
#174 will have weekday rush hour service every 20 minutes, eastbound 5:40-10:00 am and 3:40-6:40 pm and westbound 6:05-9:25 am and 3:05-7:04 pm. Except in summer, this route continue with late service Friday and Saturday from 7:20 pm to 2:20 am. The bus reaches campus via Washington Park and 57th Street, and takes Woodlawn Avenue and 55th Street back to the rail stations.
#173 Lakeview Express will now run just on weekdays, northbound only, every 30 minutes from 3:30 to 6:30 pm fall, winter and spring.
#170 Midway Shuttle that runs weekdays between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm will now have midday hours also, about every 20 minutes, although all runs are adjusted to ensure timely connections with Metra trains at 57th and 59th. Buses run counterclockwise until noon and clockwise afternoons, leaving 57th Stony from the west side of Stony in the morning and arriving on the east side of Stony in the afternoon.
A big reconfiguration for #171
#171 will now run west on 55th from east Hyde Park, south on Ellis, then on 60th, Dorchester, 59th, and University (rather than Woodlawn) back to 55th.and to east Hyde Park. It will now have 10-minute rather than 15-minute spacing during rush hours. Last trips are now later: 8 pm from S. Hyde Park and 53rd and 8:15 from 60th and Ellis. Residents in the Jackson Park vicinity may have to seek alternatives. Abridged summer service and no summer weekend service.
#172 will also run longer in the evening (7 am to 7:18 pm) and use E. Hyde Park
Blvd. (51st) both east and west bound. Limited service to 47th and Kimbark may
be tried. Abridged summer service, no summer weekend service.
Discontinued is the #173’s late evening service from campus and interior Hyde Park to downtown, and mid-north. The replacement #174 late service on Friday and Saturday only is a shuttle that will require transfer(s). (A popular alternative for many are the #55 or #X55 to the rail lines or to the lakefront express busses. An alternative during rush hours is the #2 Hyde Park Express to downtown and River North that runs on Hyde Park Boulevard, Cottage Grove, and 60th.) Reminder: Your best cost-saving move may be to buy the Chicago Card.
The University offers several transit and other alternatives and incentives to staff, students and visitors. The university Parking and Transportation Office can be reached at 773 702-8969.
Maroon early report on operations, adjustments made
[Other problems were personally noted with the 170 and 171, including drivers not knowing the schedule, extreme lateness, buses too small for the crowds, and long layovers mid-day.]
October 3, 2006. By Joe Riina-Ferrie
Many campus commuters are upset with major changes that the University made to the bus system prior to the start of fall quarter, complaining that the buses were often late and overcrowded last week. The University added new routes, altered or canceled old routes, and completely replaced the evening bus service.
The result, at least so far, has been confusion and frustration. "I walk a lot," said Michael Schlegelmilch, a second-year in the College and Shoreland Hall resident. Many student have chosen to avoid the buses as much as possible while there are still glitches in the system.
The transportation office has responded quickly to complaints regarding overcrowding and lateness. The Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) on Monday [Oct. 1] added two buses to both routes 171 and 172 for the peak morning hours , and put larger buses on both routes. The University pays the CTA to run t he campus bus routes and initiates major adjustment to the routes.
The CTA also added buses to the 171 between 6 and 8 p.m. Buses on that route will now arrive once every 15 minutes, instead of every half-hour. Another bus has been added to the Central Route evening bus service.
Students have also complained that since the buses no longer stop in front of the Reynolds Club, there is o longer any shelter or seating available at bus stops. Many are concerned about chilly waits in the winter.
A request from the Office of Campus Transportation and Parking for funding for a shelter outside of the Regenstein, where the evening buses now stop, currently awaits approval.
The transportation system for the University was redesigned for this year based in large part on student input, both graduate and undergraduate. The transportation budget increased by almost half--from $1.6 million last year to $2.3 million this year, according to Brian Shaw, director of Campus Transportation and Parking Services. The Transportation Student Advisory Board, which includes three members of Student Government and three members of Inter-House Council, met with University officials last year to discuss the new system. Administrators also sought feedback from other student groups.
"The system is simpler, open to the entire campus community, operates later, provides better connections to Metra and CTA, and improves safety," Shaw said in an e-mail interview.
Major changes include increased frequency and later service on route 171, as well as the addition of route 174, which runs directly from campus to the Red and Green CTA rail stations on East 55th Street during peak hours and late on Friday and Saturday nights.
The University also changed its private bus system. There is no longer a Shoreland bus during the day. The evening buses, which used to be designated A-F, have been replaced by four new routes: Central, South, East, and North. These buses leave the Reg every 20 minutes and run from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. on weekends.
Many factors contributed to the increased transportation budget, according to Shaw. The CTA has increased it service charges, routes such as the 170 and 171 have been extended and improved, the 174 was added, and the 192 no longer receives funding from the U. of C. Hospitals.
Some changes are still to come, Shaw said. New buses for the evening routes, similar in design to the new CTA buses, have been ordered and should be in operation by January. also, the late-night van service, now operated by the U of C Police Department, will soon be operated by Campus Transportation and Parking.
Comments, questions, and suggestions for Campus Transportation can be sent to email@example.com, or through the Campus Transportation website at facilities.uchicago.edu. Top
Back grounder: CTA #174 must survive six-month trail. Maroon October 10. By Kimberly Drelich
The new #174 shuttle to the CTA's Garfield Red and Green Line stations has the funds to continue running through the academic year, but the CTA bus route must firs pass a 180-day trial period before it becomes permanent. The University and University of Chicago Hospitals (UCH) have allocated 14 percent of the transportation budget for the bus route.
"The #174 route will continue in service if it successfully meets the needs of the University of Chicago, U of C Hospitals, and the Hyde Park Community," said Ibis Antongiorgi, spokesperson for the CTA. "This will be determined by several factors that include ridership, feedback from customers. and the University and CTA analysis."
The University will begin a comprehensive survey in January 2007 to collect data on the #174 bus, which started the 180-day trial period required of new CTA routes on August 27. According to Brian Shaw, director of Campus Transportation and Parking Services, the data in the University's analysis will include the CTA's ridership numbers. The results of this survey will determine the route's future.
"CTA planning staff, the University's Transportation & Parking Operations Committee and Policy Committee, the Transportation Student Advisory Board, and UCH transportation staff will all have input based on ridership surveys and feedback from riders," Shaw said. After it examines its fiscal budgets in the spring, the University will decide whether to fund #174 service next year, said Shaw.
Shaw went on to say the University will actively assess the need for improvements in the shuttle service as well. Possible areas of consideration include the addition of more stops along East 57th Street, changing the frequency of the bus, and adding midday service. The bus currently operates during weekday rush hours and Friday and Saturday nights.
Shaw said he expects the shuttle will remain in service past the 180-day trial period. He added the bus route has drawn a positive response from faculty, students, and staff, including people who use the new shuttle to commute to and from campus. "The #174 serves a need for consistent, reliable, and convenient service to the El," Shaw said. "It also gives peach of mind to late-night El riders on Friday and Saturday nights."
Feedback from a spring Town Hall meeting, along with meetings with student groups such as the Transportation Student Advisory Board, Inter-House Council, and student Government, indicted a need for the #174 bus, and the UCH also wanted the shuttle to help lower its parking demand, Shaw said. "The Red Line [shuttle] was desired by students we met with last spring, nd the UCH wanted service to both Green and Red Lines to help their employees commute," said Shaw.
Shaw said some El riders found the #55 bus was providing inconsistent service. He also said the new shuttle provides service to areas where the #55 bus does not go to, particularly south of East 57th Street corridor and the medical center. "The #174 provides much faster and direct service to the 57th Street corridor," Shaw said.
The #174 bus, which currently makes up 14 percent of the University's transportation budget, is operated by the CTA and collects regular CTA fare. "CTA has the lowest operating costs," said Shaw about the decision to have the CTA operate the bus. "We could collect fares and have the route be open to anyone to ride and serve the community."
Undergraduates expressed mixed views about the new bus route; some students are enthusiastic about reduced waiting times, while others find the new route and operating times unfamiliar. Roxanne Corkin....ended up taking the shuttle while waiting for a $55 bus to arrive. "I like that the [#174] bus came faster," she said;"waiting at bus stops is not the most pleasant thing."
Monica Bowen...said he has not yet used the #174 bus because she uses other transportation options closer to the Shoreland. She said she did not know the #174 bus route and time schedule, but that she would take the #174 if it came before the #55 when leaving from campus."It's still relatively new and they haven't got the schedules out to people yet," Bowen said about the shuttle. "I'm much more familiar with the #55 Express, she added.
October 17 2006. Maroon says student grumbling still despite attempts to fine tune. By Sarah Hetherington. IHC is the student Interhouse Council.
Lingering problems with the new bus system continue to frustrate students and campus commuters. The University implemented a new busing system this summer, adding numbered CTA buses and direction-based routes to replace last year's lettered buses.
Third-year Robert Guth, former chair of the IHC's transportation committee, said he worked last year with Brian Shaw, director of Campus Transportation and Parking, and Debbie Gari, transportation operations administrator, to solve recurring problems. "I came to the meetings with.. a huge list of complaints I'd gotten from students and the IHC that I really wanted to address," Guth said. "By the end of the year, there was not a single thing on that list that hadn't been addressed in a really substantial way."
Guth said amendments to the old system, such as eliminating infrequently used routes, rerouting and instituting regular bus departures every 20 minutes from in front of the Regenstein Library, were intended to make the bus system easier to use. Shaw said the past system of CTA routes around the University was unsuccessful. The new CTA system is simplified and open to both the campus community and neighborhood residents.
Nonetheless, complaints have flooded Shaw's inbox in response to these changes. "The vast majority of e-mails have been very thoughtfully written regarding a late bus or a bus that failed to pick up a passenger," Shaw said. "Some e-mails have mentioned over-crowded conditions at certain times and days that we have addressed with extra buses. We take all communications very seriously and work with CTA and our evening bus contractor to investigate all concerns and take corrective action when necessary."
Second-year Charles Stephen Thompson, current chair of the transportation committee of the IHC, said inadequate bus size now poses a significant problem. "The buses are too full- that's a huge complaint," he said. "In the mornings, there will be around 100 students trying to get on one bus. The CTA was supported to get articulated buses, but they did not." Articulated buses bend in the middle and can accommodate additional passengers.
To address these issues, buses have been added to the #171 route during morning peak hours and from 6 to 8 p.m., as well as to the #172 route during the morning rush. A second bus has been added to the Central Route from 6 to 9 p.m., and the route has been shortened to turn north on South Ellis Avenue instead of going west to Cottage Grove Avenue.
Other complaints have focused on the evening buses, which apparently show up late or not at all. Thompson said new, lager buses will arrive in two weeks for the route that services the Shoreland. By the end of December, CTA [like] buses will run exclusively on the campus, meaning that only large, full-scale buses will service the neighborhood rather than the current shuttles.
Thompson said administrators hope that more employees ride the University bus system so that car traffic and parking issues will decrease. "In the past, we've just added routes when there have been problems," Thompson said. "Now we're actually trying to address the problems more fully. There are kinks, but we are trying to work them out."
Students vent frustration over buses at meeting
Students vent frustration over buses at meeting. Maroon October 27, 2006. By Justin Sink
About 50 Shoreland and Broadview residents and staff members complained about the new campus bus system t Housing and Facilities Services officials in a heated town meeting Wednesday night. The transportation office replace last year's lettered bus routes with more cost-efficient CTA buses during the daytime hours during the daytime hours and separate late-night routes.
Brian Shaw, director of Campus Transportation & Parking Services, began the meeting by touting improvements and tweaks that the transportation office had already implemented. These included the introduction of two stand-by buses during morning rush hours to better respond to unpredictable influxes of riders, an increase in the number of #171 buses running during the evening rush hour, and a request for longer buses from CTA.
Shaw outlined plans to install a webcam outside the Regenstein Library so students can wait for buses in the lobby, to relocate the East 55th Street and South Ellis Avenue bus stop to the entrance of Ratner, and to update the late-night bus fleet. There is also a proposal to install a monitoring software that would allow riders to track the progress of a bus online.
But the mood quickly soured as residents began peppering Shaw with questions and complaints about frequent overcrowding, missed buses, inadequate shelter, confusion over stops, poor customer service, and an inconvenient schedule.
"For years the University bus system was run by housing to serve the needs of the housing community, and one of the things we've been trying to do is to get the service to work best for the whole community," Shaw said. "Blending the systems together seemed to make more sense as [it] serves everyone who needs to move to and from campus."
Students, however, complained that they have had to miss classes and ride on overcrowded buses under the new system. "I just don't understand why you've changed things around from how they were before. The Shoreland is part of the community, too, and has the highest number of riders on t his line, and we're not getting the service we deserve," said one resident, echoing the frustrations of nearly everyone present.
"I was out here last week and when it is done right, this system works," responded Shaw, to an audible wave of skepticism. As the meeting entered it second hour and grievances mounted, the tone became more heated. Residents recalled tales of time wasted waiting for buses and expressed "anger" and "disgust" with the system. Students expressed further frustration with what they perceived to be overly diplomatic nd insubstantial answers to issues they raised.
"He didn't seem to take us seriously and didn't seem to have much invested in the meeting," said second-year Shoreland resident Alex Moore. "I know it's unrealistic to expect things to change overnight, but I was expecting some sort of empathy and plan for change." The dissatisfaction peaked when Shaw again disagreed with a student's characterization of the punctuality of buses, prompting Katie Callow-Wright, associate dean of students, to chastise his response. "Brian, I know that you've seen the system work, and that it can work, but what I think these people need to hear is that you recognize that there are problems and that the problems are real. And that's why they're all here, and that's not coming across," Callow-Wright said.
"I think the issue is that his perspective and the student perspective is [sic] completely different, and it makes me feel like e-mailing with problems wouldn't help," said second-year Chantelle Pies. "I think what they need t do is actually listen. Our time is valuable, whether it is in class, waiting for a bus, or sitting in one of these town hall meetings, and I think we should at least feel like we're actually making some sort of change."
The administrators did seem to garner some productive suggestions from the meeting. Debbi Garfi, manager of Transit/Parking Operations, pledged to open a voicemail line students could all to report service issues and said that she would call individual problems with mislabeled bus stops to the attention of the CTA.
Garfi and Shaw also promised to consider altering the route schedules to better accommodate class times, standardize construction detours, and continue pressing the CTA for larger buses and improved driver-dispatcher communication. The administrators also encouraged students to utilize the online bus service comment form at bus.uchicago.edu.
Among things reported as still wrong:
Signs, particularly those the city, not CTA or the University are responsible for--wrong signs lead to drivers and customers stopping/not stopping at right streets. (ex. University, Ratner)
170 untimely appearance or no-show for first morning run at 57th and Stony Island
Sometimes small busses on 171, 172 at moment lots of students are at the stops.
January 2007: service still leaving students out in cold; Transp. office says vastly improved
Maroon, January 26, 2007
Many student remain dissatisfied with University-sponsored CTA bus routes to campus, saying that overcrowding is leaving students in the cold and forcing them to readjust their schedules to allow for the unpredictability. The Transportation Office replaced last year's bus routes at the beginning of he academic year, but disorganized service in the first month raised complaints about frequent overcrowding, missed buses, inadequate shelter, confusion over stops, poor customer service, and an inconvenient schedule. As of November, there was still confusion among drivers and students about the bus stop at the Ratner Athletic Center.
Problems with University bus service remain after four months of rider griping and frustration. Anjonette Chan Tack, an undergraduate who lives near 53rd street and Hyde Park Boulevard, said she typically has to allow for a 20-minute wait for the #171 bus in the morning, more than the amount of time it would take her to walk to class. "Between 8:30 and 9:30 it's really hard to et to class on the #171," Chan Tack said. "The buses are always overcrowded. By the [time it gets to] Shoreland, the bus is full-which I suppose is the beginning point of loading. "I have a roommate who gets on 7:30 bus or 8:00 bus just to make sure she gets there," Chan Tack said, adding that the "unpredictability" of the buses "causes people to readjust their time schedules."
The University is currently working on improving service. "We are working with CTXA to try to get larger buses put into service during the a.m. rush between 8 and 10 a.m.," said Brian Shaw, director of the Transportation Office, in an e-mail interview. [Shaw told this reporter, GO, that one of the difficulties is reluctance of CTA to use larger buses, especially flex buses, on such clogged and narrow streets as Ellis.]
The complaint system "is working very well, and it has improved our ability to respond to issues," Shaw said.
"There've been a couple of times when I've been standing out in the cold for 20 minutes, and I can't even get on," said Conor O'Sullivan, a graduate student. "Our stop's really close to the start of the line, so I can't even imagine what it's like near the end. It's really annoying and it's really frustrating," [O']Sullivan said. Donny Copeland, Student Government vice president for Administration, disagreed with the notion that the system is not working adequately. "From personally talking to students, they've been very happy," he said. "Most of the kinks, I believe, have been worked out, with large enough buses, with getting people to class on time."
Copeland pointed out that "complaints have virtually stopped," since the beginning of the calendar year, although the decrease might be attributed to students tiring of filing incident reports. "My suggestion is that students haven't been running their complaints to bus.uchicago.edu," Copeland said.
Others in the administration have seen improvements in the bus service. "I think it's better than it was in the fall, but it's not perfect," said Paul Ryer, assistant director of Housing, who said he takes the #171 bus every day. "I've seen Broadview students left behind, and that frustrates me." Ryer suggested that "ridership patterns change" every winter with "people not wanting to wait in the cold," adding that this is something "the Transportation Office should adjust to."
Shaw said the Transportation Office is "evaluating improvements" to the #171 bus. The bus complaint hotline is (773) 795-6108. E-mail can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. students can also go to bus.uchicago.edu for the latest transportation information.
Tweaking included a new stop at the Ratner Athletic Center on Ellis that many students said was just ignored by drivers and is still unsigned; also that drivers just won't listen.
In December, (mid, exam week) still more buses will be added to 171 and 172 between 8 and 10 am and in the evening. There will be a webcam at the Regenstein stop so students can wait indoors. They are working with the aldermanic offices to add stops on 57th for the 174 between Ellis and Cottage Grove.
Hyde Park Herald, by Nykeya Woods
The Chicago Transit Authority introduced a new line of busses June 21 that are exclusive to Hyde Park and neighborhoods with narrow streets. The first 30-foot Optima buses will replace busses currently operating on the Universe of Chicago's bus lines.
The university has five CTA bus lines--... Wider seats, automatic passenger counters, strap handles for standing customers, backdoor touch sensor and low emission engines are some of the amenities on the new busses, which cost a total of $15.5 million. the busses were funded through grants from the Federal Trade Administration and the Regional Transportation Authority.
The buses have the same amenities as the CTA's older busses like bike racks, air conditioning and surveillance cameras. Seating up to 35 people, they are shorter than the older ones.
"We are very excited and please to see this cute little bus arrive today," said U. of C.'s Deputy Dean of Students, Housing and Dining Services Cheryl Gutman. The university has been working with CTA for the past five years to come with these busses, she said.
Using the new busses is the university's next step in fostering a relationship with CTA, Gutman said. "We are enjoying the fact that we can provide a better quality of transportation for our own faculty, staff and students," Guttman said, and "to our friends and neighbors in Hyde Park, because this is public transportation and not private transportation."
CTA President Frank Kruesi said that the bus operators have had a difficult time making turns. "Hyde Park requires a narrower, shorter bus to navigate the neighborhood streets and turns," Kruesi said. Currently the 16-year-old busses on the U. of C.'s routes are the 35-foot-long Orion bus purchased from Pace. "These busses are older and are still a little large for the areas that we operate and need to be replaced in order to provide a high quality reliable ride to our customers in this area," Kruesi said.
Later this summer, 35 more busses will be introduced around the city. CTA has the option to order up to 140 busses.
Other bus routes in Hyde Park like the #6 Jackson Park Express or #28 Stony Island use the standard 40-foot bus.
Note. As of August 27, neither #171 or #172 any longer use Woodlawn Ave. but rather University However, the new #174 (morning and afternoon rush hours) turns back north on Woodlawn between 57th and 55th northbound, and was laying over on the northeast corner of Woodlawn and 57th, at least in early September. Should the route be moved to University, the location of a layover spot will still have to be solved. Other bus routes use the northeast corner of University at 57th as a stop, and the space in front of Reynolds Club is bus stop and auto/delivery drop off (only).
By Sharon R. Glick, Hyde Park Herald, September 13, 2006
I am very concerned about the busses that make driving from the 5500 block of Woodlawn Avenue to 57th Street into a daily dodge game. The busses ar too wide for the street. Cars cannot pass by the busses or make turns and hold up traffic for the whole block while they wait for the busses to turn or to pass.
This week I discovered that the new route 174 has 5th and Woodlawn as its end point. It set for several minutes at the corner with only the driver in it blocking all turning traffic. The busses cannot fit within their lane. They have to swing into oncoming traffic. The street has traditionally been parked solid on both sides. Cars driving south and encountering a bus coming at them are forced to squeeze against the cars parked on the wets side of the street. There is no way we will be able to avoid collisions with these parked cars if this bus routing continues.
These busses never have more than a few passengers on them. If they are meant to transport students and staff to the university, it would make more sense for them to turn north onto University Avenue from their stop at the student union and then proceed along University Avenue to 55th street before continuing their routes north, east or west.
Ed. Note: #172, 173, 174 continue to use Woodlawn.
CTA approves new bus for UC Hospitals early 206
M-F only, Hospitals Goldblatt entrance only, to Union and Ogilvie (Northwestern) stations. Standard fare and pay for all. Can use Metra Link-UP passes up to 7 pm.
Depart NWN Depart Union Arrive Goldblatt Med Center 6:30 A.M. 6:34 7:05 7:20 7:24 7:55 7:35 7:49 8:20 8:10 8:14 8:45 8:35 8:39 9:10 9:00 9:04 9:35
Depart Med Center Arrive Union Arrive NWN 3:45 P.M. 4:16 4:20 4:25 4:56 5:00 4:35 4:06 5:10 5:05 5:39 5:43 5:30 6:04 6:08 6:00 6:34 6:38 7:00 7:31 7:35
Hyde Park Herald, February 1, 2006, by Nykeya Woods
The Chicago Transit Authority Board recently approved a new express bus for the University of Chicago Hospitals that would be in service in February. The new #192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express will operate during the morning and evening rush hour periods between the Ogilvie Transportation Center/Union Station and the university's hospitals for the next five years.
This makes the fifth public transit line between the university and the agency. The other four subsidized bus routes for university students, employees an residents....include(s) three busses that travel around the neighborhood and one that travels to the North Side.
In its first year of operation, the new bus line will cost the university an estimated $221,000 to subsidize. According to Brian Shaw, Director of Campus Transportation and Parking, Facilities Services, the hospital has been using a contract service for many years and recently decided to make a change. CTA bid on the proposal and won.
"CTA's response was most favorable," Shaw said. The bus line, which Shaw feels will be mainly by graduate students and hospital employees, will function as a normal express line. The fare will be the same as other CTA routes, but the difference will be the type of bus. The current contractor uses a 47-passenger motor coach. The CTA has committed to a 60 plus passenger bus to attract more neighborhood people.
Another plus, Shaw said, is that the bus will try to be in sync with the red and green lines and with the Metra Trains. There will also be extended hours. "This new service will provide the Hyde Park community with another convenient transit option connecting Metra and CTA with one of our region's most significant hos[pitals," Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown said.
A map for the bus route [was not yet available except on buses and is of little value, since there are no stops between the end points].
[Noted also: increased ridership on the #2 that circulates the edge of the neighborhood and campus and runs rush hours to downtown and Navy Pier]
The university is considering new or revamped collaborations with CTA for next year. Underused #173 could morph into a daytime rush hour year-round commuter route to downtown (with or without continuing to the north side--and student transp. people have other ideas for revamping the 173). The evening function could be replaced by a CTA Red and Green Line Shuttle (hours and stops as yet undetermined, but open to all vs the ill-fated "Red Line Shuttle" experiment). #171 hours could be extended to 8 pm and those of the Midway Shuttle #170 as well to better serve dormitories. The College Council is also looking at changing late night routes to directional instead of the interweaving and confusing circuits they now run. They have also asked for adjustments of the #171 and #172 schedule--students are often arriving after start of class. These changes happened August 27, 2006.
It was difficult to keep schedules on the long #173.
Routes are now as effective December 31, 2006 essentially the changes effective August 2006, or (170, 171) April 1 ?, 2007 (maps and schedules to be up as available) .
All CTA services are open to the entire community. UC students, faculty and staff with valid ID may board the following buses except #173, #174, #192 for free by displaying their University of Chicago, UC Hospitals, or Lab School ID. Note that transfers are available to those paying with Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus.
#170 Midway. One-way
counterclockwise west on 59th, south on Cottage Grove, east on 60th, north to
57th and Stony, thence south and west on 59th starting at 57th and Stony Island
at 6:30 am. Clockwise in the afternoon. Weekdays every 10 or 20 minutes, weekends
at greater intervals.
Note- The free UC Hospitals Midway Shuttle runs in a loop west on 59th to Cottage and east on 60th to Stony M-F 24 hours except west of Woodlawn only when the 170 is running.
#171 Hyde Park. 60th/Ellis and 54th/South Shore daily 5-30 minutes c. 7 am- 8 pm. Saturday 8-6:12 ev. 30 minutes.
#172 Kenwood. 60th/Ellis and 51st/East End. Weekdays Sept-mid-June. Abridged summer service). 7 am-6:10 pm ev. 15 minutes or less rush hours, 25-45 others. Weekdays 7 am East End to arr. 60th University 7:17 pm. 7:18 Northbound from 60th University to East lend at 7:33 pm. Saturdays appr. 7 am- 7:30 pm. and Sunday Same but schedule different. About every 30 minutes Saturday and Sunday. . Via East Hyde Park west from East End, Woodlawn, 53rd, Ellis, 60th, Dorchester, 59th Woodlawn, E Hyde Park Blvd, Cornell, Lake Shore Drive West to Cornell/East End (layover).
#173 Lakeview Express. 57th /University and Belmont/Halsted during academic year per schedule posted below and modified as per above.
#174 U of C- Garfield Express. Runs from 57th and University via Woodlawn, 55th, Ainey, Morgan, and 55th /Garfield to the Green and Red line rapid transit stations, turns around at Normal, and returns via 55th, Morgan, Pane to Cottage Grove, and 57th to point of origin.
#192 U of C Hospitals Express. Runs from Ogilvie and Union Stations on Madison nonstop in the morning via Clinton, Roosevelt, Lake Shore Drive, 57th, Cornell, Midway Plaisance, Dorchester, 59th to the Goldblatt Entrance 860 E. 59th. St. In the afternoon and evening, service runs nonstop via 59th, Cottage Grove Midway, Payne, Morgan, 55th, Indiana, 31st, Michigan, Roosevelt, Canal to Madison.
Schedules. (170, 171 coming)
#172. U of C/Kenwood (Columns in each set represent Southbound Hyde Park/East End, 53rd/Woodlawn and 60th/University. Northbound same leaving 60th with 3rd column being arrival at Hyde Park/East End for layover. (The first bus arriving at East End at 7:35 am presumably becomes the 7:45 bus southbound.)
|Weekdays||Saturdays and Sundays|
Hyde Park at East End
Hyde Park at Lake Park/Metra
Hyde Park at Kenwood
Woodlawn at Hyde Park
Woodlawn at 53rd
Ellis at 53rd
Ellis at 54th
Ellis at 55th/Ratner
Ellis at 57th
Ellis at 58th
60th at Ellis/ BJ
60th at University/Law School
Ellis at Woodlawn
Ellis at Kenwood
59th at Kimbark/Lab School
59th at Kimbark/Lab School
Woodlawn at 58th/GSB
Woodlawn at 57th
Woodlawn at 55th
Woodlawn at 53rd/Kimbark Plaza
Woodlawn at Hyde Park
Hyde Park at Kenwood
Hyde Park at Blackstone
Hyde Park at Lake Park/Metra
Hyde Park at East End
173 Schedule (Northbound only) Sept-mid June
Operates from th Lab School at 59th and Kimbark via 59th, Ellis, 57th (stop at University/Reynolds Club), Woodlawn, 55th (stop at Dorchester), Lake Park (stops at 53rd, Hyde Park and 47th), Lake Shore Drive, Balbo, Michigan (5 stops- Balbo, Monroe, Randolph, Gleacher/Tribune, Grand,), Ontario ( stops), La Salle (stops at Chicago and Division), North (Wells, Halsted), Halsted (stops at Armitage, Fullerton, Diversey, Belmont), Belmont to Sheridan final stop.
59th at Kimbark/Lab School
59th at Ellis
57th at University/Reynolds
55th at Dorchester
Lake Park at 53rd
Lake Park at Hyde Park
Lake Park at 47th
Balbo at Michigan
Michigan at Monroe at Randolph Ne cor.
Michigan at Gleacher/Tribune
Michigan at Grand
Ontario at Wabash
Ontario at Clark
LaSalle at Chicago
LaSalle at Division
North at Wells
North at Halsted
Halsted at Armitage (Brown Line)
Halsted at Fullerton (DePaul, Red Line)
Halsted at Diversey
Halsted at Belmont
Belmont at Broadway
Belmont at Sheridan (connections north)
174 Schedule: UC/Garfield Green and Red Line Stations
Weekday Rush Hours year-round, Friday and Saturday nights during UC academic year (no summer). Weekdays every 20 minutes. Eastbound weekdays from Red Line 5:40 am-10 am (arrives 10:14 at 57th Woodlawn) and 3:40-4:40 pm (arriving 6:54 at 57th/Woodlawn). Westbound leave 57th/Woodlawn starting at 6:05 pm to 9:25 pm (arrives 9:38 at Garfield/Red Line). Estimated travel time 14 minutes (beware this depends on traffic and other conditions).
Friday only late night service runs Eastbound 7 pm-2 am every 20 minutes on the hour, 20, and 40, Eta 14 minutes, and Westbound 7:25 pm-1:45 am.
Schedule- to be entered
Woodlawn at 57th
55th at University
55th at Ellis
55th at Cottage Grove
Garfield at King Drive
Eastbound (note, does not stop between King and Reynolds Club/Woodlawn.
Woodlawn at 57th (usually picks up at Reynolds Club)
Connections: Red line direct to Sox file, Chinatown, Roosevelt/Columbia etc U, Loop, North Mich, DePaul, Wrigley Cubs, Loyola, Evanston
Last Green Line trains leave downtown at 1:25 am. Goes to IIT, Downtown/University, Metra/Amtrack, Garfield Par, Oak Park.
192 Schedule: UC
Hospitals/Union and Ogilvie Rail Stations downtown
M-F only, Hospitals Goldblatt entrance only, to Union and Ogilvie (Northwestern) stations. Standard fare and pay for all. Can use Metra Link-UP passes up to 7 pm. It uses Lake Shore drive southbound in the morning and Michigan/Indiana northbound afternoon and evening.
|Depart NWN||Depart Union||Arrive Goldblatt Med Center|
|Depart Med Center||Arrive Union||Arrive NWN|
Evening service for students, faculty, staff with a Chicago Card.
The evening routes, under a new company, have been streamlined for 2006-07 and changed from A-F to north, east, and central, and south. On academic year, with reduced service in interims and summer. Sunday-Wednesday 6 pm- 2 am, Thursday-Saturday 6 pm-6 am. All depart westbound from Regenstein Library on 57th on the 00, 20, and 40. See schedule after CTA/UC daytime.
Other UC student service includes the Shoreland Express, East Hyde Park Express (reserved for students in academic year, runs 2:20-7:20 pm, Hospitals Midway Shuttle (20 minutes 9:30-3:20 and 6:30 am-6:30 pm 702-6257 for info.), Police Late Night Van, and Police Umbrella Service.
Midway Shuttle (UC Hospitals free gray bus) runs M-F 24 hours west on 59th and east on 60th between Cottage and Stony (west of Woodlawn only when the #170 is running).
Late Night van Service 2-6 am Sat. through Mon. mornings, 1-4 Tuesday-Friday. On call available to students, faculty staff between 47th and 63rd. First come first served. Must show ID. 773 702-2022.
Umbrella Coverage. After the Late Night Van. For the above. Patrol car will accompany- call University police.
Map 1 170, 171, 172, 173, 174. Not here- 192, but it's straightforward 860 E. 59th to downtown stations via Indiana, return via Roosevelt, the Drive and 57th.
#2 All Hyde Park routes (visualize better in map below) and fare information
Travel information: 836-7000 5-1 am, TTY 312 835-4949. CTA: www.transitchicago.com. Customer 888-YOURCTA (968-7282). UC www.rh.uchicago/bus. email@example.com
The following map of evening routes is kept because it shows some stops more clearly and there appear to be no route changes. Be alert for changes.
evening routes, under a new company, have been streamlined for 2006-07 and changed
from A-F to north, east, and central, and south. On academic year, with reduced
service in interims and summer. Sunday-Wednesday 6 pm- 2 am, Thursday-Saturday
6 pm-6 am. All depart westbound from Regenstein Library on 57th on the 00, 20,
and 40. See schedule after CTA/UC daytime.
NOTE: CENTRAL ROUTE CHANGE- GOES NORTH ON ELLIS NOW INSTEAD OF COTTAGE GROVE. Additional adjustments may be made by the end of Autumn quarter. In addition, by that time the small shuttles will all be replaced by larger, CTA-like buses.
There are also late night vans that can be called. Some are now handicapped accessible.
(Dots are University emergency phones)
Visit the Red Line Shuttle page, story of a failed alternative late-night student initiative.
U-Pass is a program that allows colleges to pay for their students to ride the bus free anytime. It requires the school to cover all students. The HPKCC Transit Task Force Chair, James Withrow, discussed the possibility of U-Pass some time ago with university officers and reached essentially the same conclusion as the article below.
Here is a Maroon (Nov. 4, 2005) analysis. By Sara Jerome:
Students short $1.75 an stuck walking in the cold may wonder--with some bitterness--why the U of C does not give them U-Passes. The program allows full-time students from participating Chicagoland colleges to ride free on all CTA buses and trains with a simple flash of their cards. But according to administrators and Student Government (SG) representatives, U Passes would not make sense for the U of C.
Brian Shaw, director of Transportation and Parking services, said, "It's hard to argue with rationale and numbers. We have a unique situation [from other schools in Chicago]. We pay the CTA to operate the campus bus routes. Those wouldn't operate without University funding... Not a lot of people know that."
Kyle Lee, a second-year in the College and the chairman of the SG Transportation and Security Committee, as his mailbox filter emails with the word "U-Pass" in the subject line into a special folder. "You wouldn't believe the number of e-mails I get about U-Passes," he said, adding that once he explains the facts to people, they usually agree with the University's choice to abstain from the program.
Carleton Rutherford, the bus operations manager for the University, said that the U-Pass system could come with a hefty price tag. The U-Pass program is "designed [so that it] would cost the University about $2 million in addition to the $1.375 million [the University currently spends] to subsidize our highly 'personalized' intra-Hyde Park services," Rutherford said. These services include the CA #170, #171, #172, and #173, plus nighttime letter buses and the Broadview-Shoreland and East Hyde Park daytime services.
Lee added that without subsidization by the University, the U-Pass program would amount to about a thousand dollars added to each student's tuition.
Some other colleges subsidize the U-Pass program so that the cost added to tuition is not overwhelming. Unlike at the U of C, schools like the University of Illinois at Chicago and DePaul University have large commuter populations, so students take the bus every day. Darcy Wittberger, the student activities coordinator at Columbia College of Chicago, said that he U-Pass program is lucrative for Columbia student because it would cost many of them as much as $100 a month to get to get to campus.
"The reason the U of C doesn't have the U-Pass is because the students don't ride the bus that much. Our academics are all n Hyde Park. It's a lot cheaper to pay for the CTA out of pocket, Lee said.
Steve Klass, vice president and dean of students in the University, has been involved in the U-Pass discussion since the program's advent into the '90s. He said that the "all or nothing" policy of the U-Pass program,--which requires every full-time student in a particular university to participate--"was something that really wasn't going to work for us here." When the U-Pass program began, the cost to join would have been greater than the University's entire transportation budget, according to Klass.
Shaw said he hopes to make it easier for students to get bus cards and would like to see if the CTA would be willing to provide discounted fares for students.
In May 2006 University Transportation and Parking Office Director Brian Shaw discussed with a culminating town hall meeting the new strategy that includes: Moving to a uniform parking pricing that is higher than transit options. Holding off on more garages and other parking after the announced round--goal is less to add more parking than to prevent loss or more load due to new buildings. Place the bus routes under his office rather than Halls and Commons, with some restructuring possible (See UC Routes and Parking Woes and opportunities pages.). A whole suite of options to bringing one's car on campus. Following is the report from the June 8 Chronicle.
This spring, after considerable outreach to administrators, employees, students and area residents, the newly renamed University Transportation and Parking Office now is ready to act on its multipronged strategy for meeting the needs of the next generation.
And a host of demographic factors have converged to ensure that the timing of the effort comes not a moment too soon. "We are simply running out of room," explained Brian Shaw, Director of Campus Transportation and Parking, noting that the Hyde Park population has continued to grow, while the University continues new facilities construction.
"As a result, we anticipate a continued loss of parking. So, we're looking at a variety of initiatives now to change local parking behavior and to make it easier to use different forms of transportation," he added. Shaw presented the parking and transportation plan at a recent town hall meeting. His May talk was part of a series of meetings Shaw has led since March. Since then, he also has made presentations to deans, student government representatives and resident focus groups. "We took this show all over campus," he said.
The goal is to make people aware of the physical changes to come, to hear their concerns and suggestions, and to cultivate "buy-in" to the five-year plan that will alter campus life through 2011, he said. Specifically, the University is moving ahead with plans to build a new, multilevel parking garage at the corner of Woodlawn and 61st Street, slated to break ground next year.
While Shaw said it is too early to predict how much the parking garage project will cost, he noted that is should be comparable in "size and massing" to the $20-million, five-story, 1,050-space garage that opened in 2001 at Ellis Avenue and 55th Street. "At the end of the day, there won't be much change in the number of spaces overall," he conceded, adding that a key aim is to keep the University from actually losing parking capacity while the rest of the campus expands.
Meanwhile, to lower the demand for parking, Shaw's office also will implement a variety of initiatives to encourage greater use of alternative transportation. These initiatives include a guaranteed ride home program, occasional use parking, car sharing and carpool parking. Shaw's Group will also be partnering with PACE to develop vanpools.
"Our parking is vastly undervalued," noted Shaw. "So we will be gradually raising the parking rates over the next three years, so we can pay the taxes that need to be paid. The goal is to make alternative transportation cheaper than parking."
Another aim is to equalize parking rates-- at that higher rate--all across campus. Similarly, the Transportation and Parking Office is taking over coordination of all the campus bus routes, including those operated by both the Chicago Transit Authority and the University.
"Residential housing and commons will no longer be overseeing these contracted bus services," said Shaw. "We're taking a much more hands-on approach now toward our bus system." That hands-on approach extends to all of the University's transportation and parking needs.