Why drive? Take alternative transportation to campusDuring the winter months, snow, ice and subzero temperatures can make driving to campus and finding parking difficult and frustrating. But for the majority of University faculty, students and staff, the hassles of winter driving can be eliminated by using one of several alternative methods of transportation, said Richard Bumstead, University Planner in the Office of Facilities Planning & Management.
"There are a variety of alternative means to get to campus that are far better than sitting in traffic and that don't come with the additional headache of looking for a parking space," Bumstead said. "Whether you live in Hyde Park, downtown or in the South Suburbs, there is a way to get to the University without driving that can be cheaper and more time-efficient. Commuters should experiment and find a route that is most convenient for their needs."
Hyde Park residents:
The campus bus system is an easy and convenient way for students, faculty and staff in Hyde Park to commute to campus.
"It may seem surprising, but quite a few people who live in Hyde Park actually choose to drive to campus in the winter," Bumstead said. "While they may walk or bicycle in the warmer months, the cold often prompts them to drive. But if they take a campus bus, they'll find that they most likely will be dropped off much closer to their destination than if they had to park and walk."
Maps, schedules and tickets for the Red Line and Green Line campus buses, which run during the morning and afternoon rush periods, are available at the Bursar's Office, the Billings Hospital cashier's desk, the Law School, the Comptroller's Office and the University Bookstore. Individual tickets cost $1.25, and monthly passes are $25.
The University also offers transportation through the Midway Shuttle, operated jointly with the University Hospitals. The Midway Shuttle is a free bus service that operates in a loop starting at the 59th Street Metra station. From 6:40 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m., the route is served by a bus similar to the white University buses. At other times during the day, the shuttle service is provided by the maroon Hospitals buses. The Midway Shuttle operates on a 20-minute schedule from 6:40 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The route starts at the 59th Street Metra station and runs west to Cottage Grove Avenue, south to 60th Street, east to Stony Island Avenue and north to 59th Street. For information concerning evening schedules for the Midway Shuttle, as well as schedules for the free evening bus routes, call 702-3988.
From South Suburbs and Northwest Indiana:
The most efficient way to get to the University from the South Suburbs is to take the Metra commuter rail system to the 59th Street station. Employees commuting from Northwest Indiana can take the South Shore Line. At 59th Street, passengers can take the Midway Shuttle (see above) or walk to the main campus. For travel information and schedules for rail service, call 836-7000.
From downtown and other suburbs:
For those commuting from downtown, the University Hospitals rail shuttle operates from the Union and Northwestern train stations to campus and back. Tickets are $2 each, or $75 for a 42-ride pass, and are available at the Billings Hospital cashier's desk with a UCID; for information, call 702-6257. Commuters can also take the CTA Jeffery #6 bus to 51st Street and Hyde Park Boulevard and then board a Green Line or Red Line campus bus. Passengers with a CTA transfer and a UCID can board the Green Line or Red Line campus bus free of charge. For people who absolutely must drive to campus, Bumstead suggests car pooling. Chicago's winter parking ban is now in effect and will continue through April 1. During the winter months, the Midway Plaisance is a first-plow snow route and is unavailable for parking when it snows. When snowfall exceeds two inches, a parking ban is also enforced on streets marked with white and blue signs. Cars parked illegally will be towed.
For more information on campus transportation services, call the University of Chicago bus-information line at 702-3988.