Transportation Resources for Students

September 21, 2022

To: All Students
From: Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students in the University, and Eric Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security
Subject: Transportation Resources for Students
Date: September 21, 2022

We want to update you on the numerous transportation options available to UChicago students for the 2022-23 academic year. Safe transportation is a key priority at UChicago, and the following services provide opportunities for students to move about and explore campus, Hyde Park, and the city of Chicago.

  • Lyft Ride Smart continuing this year: Lyft Ride Smart is available to all students again this academic year. Students will receive an individual invitation via email in the coming days to sign up for the program. Students who signed up last year do not need to reenroll. Through the program, students are eligible for 10 free rides per month (up to $15 per ride) from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. seven days a week. Rides must begin and end in the service area, which has been expanded this year to include the Red and Green line Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stations on East Garfield Boulevard.
  • New downtown connector shuttle: Beginning in Winter Quarter 2023, the University is launching a downtown connector shuttle to provide free transportation for students and other members of the University community between the Hyde Park campus, the Gleacher Center, downtown UChicago Medical Center clinics, and the Roosevelt Red Line CTA station. Shuttles are expected to pick up and drop off riders every 20 minutes weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. More details, including a route map, will be available later in the Autumn Quarter.
  • Free Metra 10-ride pass: Beginning October 1, students can sign up on to receive a free 10-ride Metra Electric pass, which is good for Metra Electric trains across all zones. Students are eligible for one 10-ride pass per year and must sign up for a Ventra account before claiming a pass.
  • After-Hours Parking at Campus North (Ellis) Garage: Beginning this Autumn Quarter, students and others with an active UChicago ID can park for free after hours at the Ellis Avenue parking facility. You can use your ID card to enter the Ellis Garage between 5 p.m. and 3 a.m., 7 days a week. Those who access the garage after hours without a parking permit will be required to exit the facility no later than 7 a.m. each day or be subject to daily parking fees. Ellis Garage permit holders will continue to have 24-hour access.
  • Continuous transit improvements: Over the next year, the University will implement additional transit improvements, with a particular focus on the UGo shuttle system. Phased changes will be made to daytime and NightRide shuttles to improve wait times and route efficiency. Changes will also include adding several two-way service routes and addressing existing service gaps, such as early morning commuting. Once the changes are completed – expected prior to Autumn Quarter 2023 – Lyft Ride Smart service times will be adjusted to complement the improved UGo shuttle system.

For more information on transportation options for students, please see this video and visit We wish you safe travels and a productive academic year.

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