University Adds Free Downtown Shuttle, Metra Pass and After-Hours Parking to Transit Options

Students will have easier access to downtown Chicago thanks to a new UGo shuttle line, a 10-ride Metra pass, and the expansion of the Lyft Ride Smart program.


Adyant Kanakamedala

Haskell Hall on a cloudy spring day.

By Gustavo Delgado, News Reporter

The University is broadening transportation options for students to address gaps in the system and increase safe use of existing citywide public transit, as outlined in an email sent on September 21 from Dean Michele Rasmussen and Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Eric Heath.

The Lyft Ride Smart program, inaugurated last fall allows students up to 10 free Lyft rides per month within the Hyde Park service area, has been expanded to include the Garfield Red Line and Green Line stations. Within this area, Lyft rides worth up to $15, not including tips, are subsidized by the University at no cost to the student. Students not previously enrolled in the program will receive an invitation to join.

The University is also offering passes for 10 free Metra Electric rides each year on any zone of the Metra Electric line. Students may sign up for the offer beginning October 1 through the my.uchicago portal. To claim a pass, students must also have created a Ventra account and have downloaded the Ventra app, which allows students to purchase and validate Metra tickets digitally.

The University will also begin offering students free parking at the Campus North Garage at South Ellis Avenue between 5 p.m. and 3 a.m., seven days a week. To avoid any fees, students without a 24-hour parking permit must exit the garage by 7 a.m.

Additionally, the UGo Shuttle system will open a new line during winter quarter 2023 connecting Hyde Park and downtown UChicago locations like the Gleacher Center and UChicago Medical Center clinics. This shuttle, slated  p.m. Monday to Friday, will also stop at the Roosevelt Red Line CTA station. More details and an exact route map will be provided later in autumn quarter.

The University also plans to make reliability and efficiency improvements to the shuttle system in response to observed service gaps, particularly in the morning hours.

More information on UChicago’s transit options is available on the Department of Safety and Security’s website or the UChicago Safe mobile app, which displays live information for transportation on and surrounding campus. The University has also released a video outlining the forthcoming updates alongside guidelines for staying safe on public transit.