New CTA bus service will make more regular stopsBy Jennifer Leovy
The University has contracted with the Chicago Transit Authority to provide bus service for three of the Universitys daytime routes and the evening downtown express. The CTA began operations on Monday, Sept. 18.
Some of our services had evolved into larger, more complex mass transit systems. We were very pleased to receive creative bid proposals from both the second largest provider of mass transportation in the country as well as from Laidlaw Transit, our long-time contractor. This allowed us to create a set of services that capitalizes on the substantial strengths of each, said Steve Klass, Deputy Dean for Housing and Dining Services. We are very excited about this opportunity to improve the quality and reliability of our transportation services to students, faculty and staff and to leverage our resources to benefit our neighboring community as well.
The University has subsidized the new routes, which are open to the entire community at regular CTA rates and include the territory previously covered by the University of Chicago Downtown Express, the Midway Service and Buses No. 1 and No. 2.
Although all riders pay a CTA fare for the evening express, students continue to ride free on all of the daytime buses, and faculty and staff ride free on the Midway route.
The new bus routes overlap with many existing CTA stops, and bus-route planners have added key stops on Ellis and University avenues and on 60th Street. Planners designated stops so riders have no more than a two- to three-block walk from where they live to any bus stop, Klass said.
The three daytime routes include the No. 170 University of ChicagoMidway; No. 171 University of ChicagoHyde Park; and No. 172 University of ChicagoKenwood.
The No. 173 University of ChicagoLakeview Express travels to downtown and the North Side. For further information, please see the orientation supplement in this issue of the Chronicle or visit http://www.rh.uchicago.edu/bus/#One.
CTA Transportation Coordinator Mitchell Ware is managing the Universitys transportation program, which also includes evening services provided by Laidlaw Transit. Mitchell will work closely with Klass and maintain offices on campus and at the CTA.
The alliance between the University and the CTA occurred after the CTA responded to the Universitys proposal for a transportation provider to operate its transportation services.
Agreements like this help CTA develop new markets and strengthen ridership, said CTA Chairman Valerie Jarrett. Besides students, faculty and employees of the university, residents of the Hyde Park and Kenwood communities will also benefit from this service. We look forward to welcoming them all on board.