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September 19, 2010

Getting there

Go anywhere in the city for a couple bucks and change

Maybe you’ve just finished your problem set; or, maybe you're lying moaning in bed, feigning sickness to fool your R.A., and then hitting the town with your significant other and misanthropic roommate while your monotonic econ professor calls out your name over and over again. Point is, Bueller, some days you feel like going out on the town. No Ferrari? Here's a rundown of your other options; for more guidance, visit goroo.com to plan your trip.

Busses: Cost: $2.25 one way without a CTA card, 25 cent transfers to trains

— 55 — Runs between the Museum of Science and Industry and Midway Airport along East 55th Street. It’s not known for its punctuality, but with stops at two El stations, it’s one of the major lifelines leading out of Hyde Park.

— 6 — Picks up along South Stoney Island Avenue, South Hyde Park Boulevard, and South Lake Park Avenue before turning onto Lake Shore Drive and running express to Museum Campus and turning onto Michigan Avenue. Occasionally it gets rerouted for special events in the city, but usually it’s a good bet for getting downtown in 20 minutes. Heading back to Hyde Park, it goes south on State Street before merging onto Lake Shore Drive.

— 2 — Heads for Navy Pier via State Street. It also runs express from East 47th Street and South Lake Park Avenue to Museum Campus but has limited pickup stops in Hyde Park.

— 10 — Starts at the Museum of Science and Industry, taking State once it gets to downtown. After reaching the river, the bus takes the small turn onto Michigan and continues north to make a loop a few blocks behind the John Hancock at Walton.

— X28 — Another bus that runs express between East 47th Street and South Lake Park Avenue and Museum Campus. This one goes as far as Adams Street, where it turns west to Canal Street before heading back to Hyde Park. Not to be confused with the regular #28 that runs up and down Stony Island.

Makes a bunch of local stops through the South Side before reaching Roosevelt Avenue, the start of downtown, on Michigan Avenue. With a few stops along the Magnificent Mile, it goes as far north as Chicago Avenue.

Subway: Cost: $2.25 one way without a CTA card, 25 cent transfers to busses

— Red Line — Take the #55 bus heading west on East 55th Street to make the transfer to the Red Line. The train stops at Sox–35th and Chinatown before becoming a straight shot to downtown and North Side neighborhoods like Belmont and Wrigleyville.

— Green Line — The same #55 bus also has the Green Line on its route. Like the Red Line, this train heads for downtown, but it circles half of the Loop, while the Red Line cuts straight through the center. Most students prefer taking the Red Line if they're going somewhere downtown or northerly, but could the Green Line be the better option? Maybe, if you need to eventually get on the Brown or Purple Lines; in the Loop, these share platforms and tracks with the Green, which makes catching your transfer quick and simple.

Other: Cost based on distance travelled

— Metra — Metra is separate from the CTA and requires its own fare card. With a station at East 57th Street and South Lake Park Avenue, students can catch the tail end of the train from University Park to Chicago. Its stops aren’t as frequent downtown as a CTA train or bus, but Metra does offer the convenience of a set time schedule. It’s also a good choice for heading out to the surrounding suburbs (or Indiana).

— Taxi — Occasionally there might be a taxi cruising in Hyde Park to flag down. If time is of the essence, the best thing is to call for one. Expect to pay about $30 with tip for trips to downtown and the near North Side.

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