The Chicago Transit Board today approved service changes on four routes that serve the University of Chicago and the surrounding area. These changes in service are at the request of the University as a result of changes in ridership patterns along the routes.
The University has been subsidizing the cost of these routes since September 2000. Six routes that serve the school and the neighboring communities are currently subsidized by the University. The #171 U of Chicago/Midway and the #192 U of Chicago Hospitals Express bus routes are not affected.
A public hearing was held in late-July on campus to garner public input regarding the proposed elimination of the #173 U of Chicago/Lakeview Express and #174 U of Chicago/Garfield Stations.
As a result of today’s board action, the following service changes will go into effect on Sunday, September 6.
Experimental Service Changes
The following experimental service changes will be made to the #171 U of Chicago/Hyde Park and #172 U of Chicago/Kenwood routes for at least 180 days.
Making these changes on an experimental basis allows CTA to make adjustments to service based on customer feedback and analysis before requesting additional action by the Board.
#171 U of Chicago/Hyde Park – Routing and Hours of Service
With the upcoming closure of the Shoreland Residence Hall at S. Shore Drive/54th Street this fall, the current level of service along the #171 U of Chicago/Hyde Park route is no longer needed.
During the academic year, buses traveling along the #171 route will operate approximately every 10 minutes during the rush periods and every 30 minutes during the midday. Previously, buses operated every five to 10 minutes during the rush periods and every 15 minutes during the midday. Service along this route will be provided until approximately 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m.
In addition, the course of travel on the north end of the #171 route will change slightly. Buses no longer will travel east of Hyde Park on South Shore Drive; instead they will operate via Hyde Park Boulevard to 53rd Street to Lake Park, 55th Street and then travel over the regular route.
#172 U of Chicago/Kenwood – Hours of Service
During the academic year, service along the #172 U of Chicago/Kenwood route will end approximately one hour earlier at 6 p.m., instead of 7 p.m.
Permanent Service Changes
Due to low ridership and the availability of alternate service, the following two routes will be eliminated at the request of the University:
#173 U of Chicago/Lakeview Express – Eliminated
The #173 U of Chicago/Lakeview route only operates during the academic school year and travels northbound between 59th/Kimbark and Belmont/Sheridan station from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. every 30 minutes.
With the elimination of the #173 route, alternative service options include the #2 Hyde Park Express and the #6 Jackson Park Express bus routes with a transfer to another bus or rail service to reach Lakeview. The #2 route operates between 60th Street/Cottage Grove and Navy Pier during the morning and evening rush periods on weekdays. The #6 route provides service between 79th Street/South Shore and Wacker/Columbus.
#174 U of Chicago/Garfield Stations – Eliminated
The #174 U of Chicago/Garfield Stations route operates year-round between the Garfield Red Line station and 57th Street/University during the morning and evening rush periods. During the academic year, the #174 also operates in the late evening and early morning on Fridays and Saturdays.
Alternate service options for the #174 route are the #55 Garfield and #X55 Garfield Express routes. During the week and on weekends during normal service hours, #55 buses operate between the Museum of Science & Industry and the Midway Orange Line station. Night owl service also is provided along the #55 route with buses operating between the Museum of Science & Industry and 55th Street/St. Louis.
On weekdays during the morning rush period and in the afternoon through the evening rush period, #X55 buses operate between the Museum of Science & Industry and the Midway Orange Line station with limited stops along the route.
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