New NightRide provides expanded night shuttle service on fixed routes

In response to feedback from riders and students, the SafeRide program has been combined with the evening shuttles to offer shuttle service on a fixed schedule along highly used routes.

The new shuttle program, called NightRide, is designed to provide safe, timely and reliable transportation throughout the night to students, faculty members and staff members on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods. NightRide will cover a wider area and run more frequently than previous services.

The changes to the program were inspired by an extensive collaboration with student leaders over the last year, who shared their concerns about increased demand and long wait times. Combining the evening shuttles with the transportation resources previously used for the SafeRide program will deliver fast and dependable shuttle service to the greatest number of users, officials said.

The NightRide shuttles will begin running the new routes on Monday, Sept. 17, during the same hours when SafeRide previously operated—5 p.m. to 4 a.m., Sunday through Wednesday nights, and 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Shuttles no longer will be dispatched on a call-by-call basis through the communication center, but will run approximately every 20 to 30 minutes throughout the evening. The new routes will continue to cover the campus and Hyde Park neighborhood, with several important improvements:

  • Riders will be able to access a shuttle within one to two blocks of nearly every building on campus. 
  • New routes were designed with specific campus destinations in mind to make traveling around campus easier.
  • Each University of Chicago residence hall is a destination stop in the new design.
  • Shuttles will operate in both directions along each route to reduce wait times. 
  • The popular TransLoc system, which allows users to track the movements of the shuttles on a mobile app and on display monitors in the lobbies of some campus buildings, will show up-to-date information on all NightRide shuttle locations and arrival times.

Theresa Brown, director of the Office of Transportation and Parking, said that while the nighttime transit program has changed, the goal of providing a reliable and safe way for members of the University community to travel throughout the night remains the same. “These resources have not gone away,” she said. “We are committed to continuing to meet this need by deploying the same number of shuttles previously dedicated to the program during the same service hours. Running the shuttles on expanded regular routes will allow us to deliver better service to campus.”

In addition to NightRide, members of the campus community can travel at night with assistance from the University of Chicago Police Department service, umbrella coverage.

More information on the NightRide program, including maps of routes, can be found on the Office of Transportation and Parking website. These changes are all in the pilot phase, with the entire academic year as a review period. The Transportation and Parking office invites students and all other riders to offer feedback on the NightRide program at as they look for ways to improve nighttime transit on campus.