Beginning Monday, November 4, University students, staff, and faculty will be able to take a free express shuttle to 53rd Street to access new University offices and some restaurants and shops that are expected to open later this year. The shuttle will run on a continuous loop from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The new shuttle will run from East 60th Street and South Stony Island Avenue to East 53rd Street and South Ellis Avenue, and will only stop at designated locations along its route. After 6 p.m., the regular evening shuttles can be used to access 53rd Street.
This is a pilot shuttle, so the exact shuttle route and time intervals are subject to change. Passengers will have to tap a valid University ID when boarding to help the Transportation and Parking Office track the shuttle’s use and collect information that could prompt some changes.
“The 53rd Street steering committee, which includes many parts of the University, saw the potential benefits of this shuttle and recommended its creation,” said University spokesperson Jeremy Manier in an e-mail.
The addition of the 53rd Street express shuttle is one in a series of changes to transportation services that the University is making in response to surveys the Transportation Department distributed last year on the NightRide program. The revisions include changes to the stops and routes of the NightRide shuttles, the South Loop shuttle, and the CTA’s 192 bus.
The launch of the new shuttle will occur around the same time as the grand opening of the Harper Court building, a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development at East 53rd Street and South Lake Park Avenue. Several University staff offices will move to the Harper Court office later this year, after the shuttle begins operation.