Card readers coming to a shuttle near you

The 53rd Street Express Shuttle will have UCID card readers installed upon its launch Monday.

Photo: Jamie Manley/The Chicago Maroon
Students may be required to swipe their UCID cards to get on the Nightride shuttles starting winter quarter.

Students may have to adhere to a tap-and-ride policy when boarding NightRide shuttles starting winter quarter.

The University plans to add UCID card readers to all shuttles at the start of winter quarter, after a test run with the new 53rd Street Express Shuttle that launches on Monday. This policy is being implemented to help Transportation and Parking Services collect ridership information from shuttle users in order to evaluate the popularity and efficiency of each shuttle route, according to Bridget Malone, communications manager at the Department of Safety and Security, which administers the shuttle program.

“[This information] will help them assess the best ways to direct resources to provide the safest and most efficient transportation options on campus and in the surrounding areas,” she wrote in an e-mail.

The 53rd Street Express Shuttle will have UCID card readers installed upon launch. Previously, members of the University were only “encouraged” to display a valid UCID when boarding a shuttle, but this policy was not strictly enforced.

University IDs are issued to students, faculty, and staff members, as well as UCMC personnel. Malone said Transportation and Parking Services is working on a policy in the case of a lost or forgotten ID and for visitors who wish to ride the shuttles.

“The University is considering ways of accommodating campus visitors on the shuttles,” she said.

  • CollegeAlum

    Will alumni be able to use their old University IDs to ride?

  • In a similar vein to the previous comment, this seems like a case in which alumni with library privileges have a case for being included. The routes, after all, have the Reg as roosting terminus, and “Campus Cards” are already part of the comically baroque* IT waterworks supplying the alluvial deposit in this hunt for precious nuggets of crude data to be smelted and hammered into a lustrous executive summary of “the popularity and efficiency of each shuttle route.”**

    However, given that such library privileges are dispensed in yearlong units, one might wonder how the original decision to explicitly disclaim*** access to “NightRide” was arrived at. The potential burden of letting in someone flashing such an ID can already be estimated pretty well, since the addresses of the holders are known. And this isn’t the question to hand, at least as phrased.

    * “Master Constituency DataBase,” indeed.

    ** One of course not ought to tempt fate by probing the precariously unstable equilibrium in information-space that somehow allows drivers to even locate the vertices in the first place.


  • Emma LaBounty

    I would also want to know whether all the staff that works at the University but works for subcontractors (security, janitorial, etc.) have UCID’s. I would expect not.

  • How about you don’t be elitist

    Let everyone ride the shuttle…come on, now.

  • Chris

    This is going to suck for me and a host of students I know. Friends that are former students rely on the shuttles for transportation around the community, my family and friends who come to visit do as well. Hyde Park is a transportation desert without the shuttles.