OP-EDS

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January 10, 2006

Getting in the loop

The College Council recently identified transportation to downtown as one of undergraduate students’ top five concerns. Undergrads travel to the Loop for various reasons including jobs, shopping, and entertainment. The current options all require students to plan their trip and often wait for a transfer. What’s more, thse options sometimes prove to be unreliable.

A University that boasts to prospective and current students alike that one can get downtown quickly should be pursuing the goal of making what could charitably be called wishful thinking into a statement of fact.

One possible option would be to create a bus that leaves directly from a campus location, like the Reynolds Club, gets on Lake Shore Drive at the 57th street entrance, and travels on a frequent schedule tailored to the student body. Obviously, potential logistical problems for this or any innovation might be extensive. The cost of the route, the effects on the community, and the conflict with the CTA are only a few of those concerns. It is not clear whether there is a reasonable reform that would better serve students.

However, as the College Council statement indicates, just because solving this problem may be difficult, does not mean that we should stop trying. Students deserve an efficient path to downtown Chicago. It is the University’s responsibility to actively pursue any and all options that could lead to a more efficient route downtown for the University community.