On Monday, the City Colleges of Chicago will launch four hourly shuttle bus routes to connect its many campuses to one another and to transit facilities. Students can sign up to ride the buses for free, and free onboard wifi will allow students to finish those last-minute homework assignments.
The inter-campus shuttles, according to a board of trustees ordinance [PDF], will “remove a barrier to cross-registration” and “potentially reduce the use of personal vehicles.” SCR Medical Transportation, which also operates paratransit vehicles for Pace, will run the shuttles through mid-2016 for up to $3 million. Students must sign up ahead of time to use the shuttle, and then can use their contactless ID cards to board the bus.
Four routes will offer full service on weekdays and limited service on Saturdays. They will run from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, with breaks between 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The shuttles can save students time over taking Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains, especially since getting between the colleges on CTA usually requires a transfer. We’ve included “transit times” in the table below that were estimated using Google Maps’s transit directions.
|Route||Stops||Trip time||Transit time|
|South||Dawson Technical Institute in Bronzeville to South Chicago Learning Center, via 95th Red||48||52-61|
|West||Malcolm X College to Daley College, via Western Pink and Pulaski Orange||50||77-86|
|North||Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center to Wright College, via Montrose Blue, California Blue, and Kimball Brown||58||49-64|
|North-Central||West Side Learning Center in Garfield Park to Truman College||55||58-69|
The shuttles don’t directly connect to Metra stations, except for the Metra Electric’s 93rd-South Chicago station across from the South Chicago Learning Center.
Like CTA buses and trains, the CCC transit system has a mobile-friendly real-time shuttle tracker website.