170 Bus Route to Lose Funding Due to Low Ridership

The 170 bus averages less than 50 riders a day.

By Anne Nazzaro

The University of Chicago will stop subsidizing the 170 bus on Friday, May 27, 2016, according to an announcement from Safety and Security. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Board will vote in the spring on whether or not to eliminate the 170 route after the University pulls its funding.

The department cited low ridership as the reason for stopping its funding of the route. The 170 bus currently averages less than 50 riders a day. Its ridership for this past October is down by 19% from October of the previous year, and ridership for the entire year is down by 5% from the previous year.

According to the announcement, the 170 is redundant. Its route around the Midway Plaisance echoes that of many other forms of transportation in Hyde Park, including that of the 171 bus, the 172 bus, and other University shuttles like the South and the Central.

The 170 also stops at the Metra stations on 55th-56th-57th and 59th Street.

According to an article from DNAinfo, in May of 2013, the University and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) were planning to eliminate the 170, 171, 172, and 192 bus routes due to low ridership. At the time, the CTA paid for 25 percent of the costs of running the routes, while the University paid the other 75 percent.

However, the University agreed to pay for the entirety of the costs of running the four bus routes. Per the agreement, the University would also receive the fares collected from the buses.