University Extends Lyft Program to Seven Days Per Week Following Violence in Hyde Park

The Lyft Ride Smart program, which previously allowed students 10 free Lyft rides per month Thursday through Saturday nights, will become available every night from November 10 to November 24.


Overlooking Harold Washington Park and Lake Shore Drive at dawn.

By Michael McClure

Beginning tonight, the University’s Lyft Ride Smart program will be extended to cover Lyft rides seven nights a week between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. the following day. This extension will last until Wednesday, November 24, according to an email sent to University students by Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Eric Heath and Dean of Students Michele Rasmussen. All currently enrolled students are eligible for the program.

The regular schedule of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights will resume on Thursday, November 25. Heath and Rasmussen wrote that the program would be assessed at the end of autumn quarter and further changes communicated before the start of winter quarter.

According to Heath and Rasmussen, the extension comes “in light of yesterday’s tragic events and input from students.” Tuesday’s events included a fatal stabbing in the 5300 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue, an exchange of gunfire at East 53rd Street and South Harper Avenue, and the fatal shooting of a University graduate at East 54th Place and South Ellis Avenue. A bomb threat to several University buildings was also posted on Twitter, though an email from Heath yesterday afternoon confirmed the threat as a hoax.

Heath and Rasmussen wrote that the adjustment incorporated input from students and Undergraduate Student Government (USG). In a statement posted on Instagram, Thrive Slate members Parul Kumar, Natalie Wang, and Marla Anderson wrote that USG remains in contact with administrators, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Student Life to address yesterday’s incidents. College Council will meet in Stuart Hall on Monday, November 15, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss student safety, transportation options, and emergency communication from the University.

Announced over the summer and implemented on September 29 of this year, the Lyft Ride Smart program allows students to take 10 standard Lyft rides for free each month provided the cost of the ride would not otherwise exceed $15. For more expensive rides, the program acts as a credit toward the cost of the ride. Eligible rides must begin and end in the UGo NightRide Shuttle service area, which spans the region bounded by East 48th Street, South Lake Shore Drive, East 63rd Street, and South Cottage Grove Avenue.

Instructions to sign up for the program are available here. Heath and Rasmussen encouraged students to direct questions about the Lyft program and other University transportation initiatives to or to the dean-on-call, who can be reached by calling (773) 702–8181 and leaving a 10-digit callback number.