CTA Board Approves Contract for Four University of Chicago Routes

May 8, 2013

Agency will continue service on bus routes that provided nearly 1.2 million rides last year

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a new contract to allow the Chicago Transit Authority to continue to provide bus service on four routes serving University of Chicago campuses.

The CTA reached a new five-year agreement in which the University fully cover CTA’s operating costs minus fare revenues for four popular routes: the #170 U of C – Midway, #171 U of C – Hyde Park, #172 U of C – Kenwood and #192 U of C Hospitals Express. The new agreement will be effective September 1, 2013 and continue through August 31, 2018.

The routes renegotiation is part of CTA’s Crowding Reduction Plan implemented by the agency last December to reduce overcrowding on CTA buses and trains. Specifically, the Plan added service on 48 bus routes and six rail lines where ridership has grown and additional service was most needed. To defray the cost of the additional service, CTA said it would no longer subsidized so-called contracted routes and said it would renegotiate nine such routes that the agency had been subsidizing. Contracted routes largely serve one group or destination.

“We are pleased that we are able to continue to work with the University of Chicago and provide employees, students, faculty and visitors with reliable and affordable transit options,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Last year CTA provided nearly 1.2 million rides on these University of Chicago routes, and we believe continuing to provide this service benefits the University and the surrounding community.”

Under the new agreement, buses operating along these four routes will continue to operate as scheduled:

  • #170 U of C – Midway: travels between 57th Street/Stony Island and 59th Street/Drexel during the morning and evening rush periods on weekdays only (year-round). More than 85,000 rides were provided in 2012.
  • #171 U of C – Hyde Park: operates daily from early September through mid-June and only during the morning and evening rush periods during the summer months. Buses travel between 54th Street/South Shore to 60th Street/University and had nearly 370,000 rides in 2012.
  • #172 U of C – Kenwood: nearly 520,000 rides were recorded along this route in 2012, which operates between Hyde Park/East End and 60th Street/University. Service is provided daily from early September through mid-June and then only during the morning and evening rush periods during the summer months.
  • #192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express: service is provided on weekdays during the morning and evening rush periods between the Ogilvie Transportation Center and the University’s campus and hospital. Nearly 210,000 rides were provided along this route in 2012.

“We believe it is crucial that our faculty, students, staff and neighbors have safe and efficient public transportation around campus and neighboring communities,” said Marlon C. Lynch, Associate Vice President for Safety and Security at the University of Chicago. “We have spent more than a year working to find the best way to continue providing that service, and are very pleased to have reached this agreement with the CTA.”

The CTA has successfully renegotiated eight of the nine contracted bus routes to eliminate agency subsidies for the routes.

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