The CTA and the University of Chicago, at a photo opportunity near a campus bus stop at 58th and Ellis, marked the launch of four CTA bus routes that serve the University of Chicago campus and the local community.
In September, the Chicago Transit Board approved a contract with the University of Chicago to begin operating four bus routes that will serve the university campus, the residents of Chicago's South Side communities, and Lake View on the North Side. As part of this unique agreement, the CTA will also manage a contract for passenger transportation services which the University will enter into with another carrier for other bus services.
The CTA responded to a recent Request for Proposals from the University of Chicago for a transportation provider to operate transportation services that serve the school. The new CTA services which began operating on Monday, September 18, replaced routes previously provided by a private contractor and, for the first time, are available to residents in the neighboring communities at the cost of a regular CTA fare.
This contract marks the first time that the transit agency will not only be creating, providing and managing its services, but will also be overseeing the management of bus service from a third-party transportation provider. The CTA has provided a Transportation Coordinator located on the University campus to facilitate and manage the service on the four CTA routes as well as the other two services operated by the University's transportation contractor which consists of six routes.
The University of Chicago will share the costs of operating the four routes with the CTA. Students with university identification will be able to ride three of the CTA routes free by showing their university ID cards and faculty and staff will be able to ride one of the CTA routes free by also showing their ID cards. An additional 85,000 rides a year are expected to be generated by area residents who will pay regular fares and will be able to transfer to other CTA service. The fourth CTA-operated route will require all riders to pay CTA fares. University students, faculty and staff ride free on the private contractor transportation services.
?Agreements like this help CTA develop new markets and strengthen ridership," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. 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."
The four routes to be operated by CTA will be called #170 U of C ? Midway; #171 U of C ? Hyde Park; #172 U of C ? Kenwood, and #173 U of C ? Lake View Express. All but the #173 route will serve the immediate area around the university. The #173 will operate via Lake Park, 47th and Lake Shore Drive to downtown and Belmont on the North Side. "As the university has grown over the years, student residences have spread out beyond the main campus," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "The service we will be providing will tie these residential areas to the campus more effectively, and will also offer more travel options for the rest of the community and for visitors alike."
#170 U of C ? Midway buses will operate around the Midway throughout the year during weekday rush periods only, running every 20 minutes from a starting point at the 59th Street Metra station just west of Stony Island. #171 U of C ? Hyde Park buses, beginning trips from South Shore Drive at 54th, will circulate through the campus every 15 to 30 minutes weekdays from morning through early evening September through mid-June (weekday rush periods only during the summer.
From a terminal on East Hyde Park Boulevard at East End, #172 U of C ? Kenwood buses will operate on weekdays south through the campus on Ellis and north on Woodlawn at intervals of 15 to 45 minutes from morning through early evening, September through mid-June, and in summer during weekday rush periods. #173 U of C ? Lake View buses will operate 30 to 60 minutes apart, evenings only, September through mid-June, from the main campus to the North Side.
University of Chicago Deputy Dean for Housing and Dining Services Stephen Klass said, "We're very excited about this opportunity to work with the CTA to not only provide transportation services to our students, faculty and staff, but to leverage our resources to benefit our neighboring communities as well." ###