November 21, 2006

Transportation Office highlights bus changes

The administration is continuing to tweak the new transportation system, by adding more buses and a new stop at Ratner Athletic Center.

Starting mid-December, extra buses will run from 8–10 a.m. on the #171 and #172 routes, and new buses will be added to the evening lines. In addition, the transportation office is planning a webcam for the Regenstein stop to allow students to wait indoors, said Brian Shaw, director of Transportation and Parking Services, in an e-mail interview.

“Additional buses will be in service on the #171 and the Central Route during exam week,” Shaw said. “And we are working with the Alderman’s office to add stops for the #174 between Ellis and Cottage Grove on 57th Street.”

Despite the adjustments, both students and U of C employees say problems persist.

Two first-year Shoreland students said the #171 bus still doesn’t stop at Ratner.

“Every time on the bus, we tell the bus drivers to stop, but they don’t listen,” said first-year Tizziana Baldenebro. “I would complain, but it’s getting to point where I just don’t care.”

First-year Tiffany Kwak said much the same. “We got the e-mail that the Ratner stop was official, but even if you ask politely, they usually don’t listen.”

However, the total number of complaints has gone down, Shaw said.

“Most questions now have to do with the Ratner stop,” he said, adding that a CTA sign for the #171 outside Ratner will be put up soon.

Students have continued to send complaints to and have begun calling the new telephone hotline, said Paul Ryer, assistant director of Undergraduate Housing.

“The hotline is more effective—you can just call from a bus stop on your cell and say I’m at Stop X and the bus is 13 minutes late,” Ryer said. “It’s much more immediate feedback.”

Ryer said the Shoreland route has improved during the quarter. “I live in the Shoreland and that particular route seems particularly smoother,” Ryer said. “The buses are crowded in morning but it is much less frequent that people can get left behind.”

In the end, it’s all relative, Baldenbro said. “At least the bus is more regular than the CTA.”

Students can go to for the latest information. The transportation hotline is (773) 795-6108 or 5-6108 from campus, and the e-mail address is