It may seem daunting at first to learn how to find your way around Hyde Park and Chicago, but the University provides so many great resources to help you get around that it’s actually very easy. From the UPass to the free Lyft program, getting where you want to go is a breeze. To help you get a hang of these transit resources, here’s a guide to navigating Hyde Park and Chicago!
To the Mag Mile using CTA:
The CTA is a great resource to get around. Using your UPass, you can ride any CTA bus or train for free. The Mag Mile is a strip along Michigan Avenue that has great shopping and some nice restaurants and cafes.
- Go to either the bus stop on 61st St and take the 59 bus or to the bus stop on 55th St and take the 55 bus to the Garfield bus stop.
- Hop on the Red Line and get off at Grand station. When you exit onto the street, the Mag Mile will be four blocks East
Back to campus from Shinju Sushi using the free Lyft program:
Each month the University subsidizes ten free Lyft passes for UChicago students to get to and from campus and the surrounding Hyde Park area. These only work within the surrounding area of the school, so if you’re hoping to use them to get to or from further away it will only get you $15 off, which is still pretty helpful! To redeem your free passes, you have to create a Lyft account and accept the passes through an email that the school will send you. Also, they are only available between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m., so they’re perfect for getting back to your residence hall after dinner with your friends or watching a movie at Harper Theater (Bonus tip: if you bring your Student ID, you get discounted tickets at Harper).
- Open the Lyft app and type in the address of your residence hall
- Select the option that says free and your ride will be on its way
- Make sure you check the license plate from the app with the car before you get in, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re safe
To Harper Theater using the UGo Shuttle Service:
The school provides a free shuttle service to all UChicago students that goes all over the area surrounding the school, from 63rd St to 48th St. To ride it you just need to tap your UChicago ID and you’re good to go. The shuttles typically come to each stop about every 15 minutes, but you can always check the exact wait time on the UChicago safe app, which tells you the routes and locations of each bus.
- UGo bus stops are always nearby on campus, so go to the one closest to you.
- If it’s before 6 p.m., take the 53rd express shuttle and get off near Harper Theater. Make sure you request a stop by pulling the cord to let the driver know you’d like to stop.
- If it’s after 6 p.m., take the East or Central route and get off near Harper Theater.
To downtown Chicago by bike:
One really cool aspect of living in Hyde Park is that we’re right by Lake Michigan and there’s a lakeside bike path that goes from Hyde Park to downtown Chicago! If you brought a bike to school with you, great! If not, don’t worry, you can get a Divvy bike from any of the blue and gray stations that you see. To use a Divvy bike, download the Divvy app and scan the code on any of the bikes to unlock it. When you’re done, you just put it in one of the Divvy stands and it will end your ride. There are plenty of Divvy stands all over the city, so you don’t really need to worry about what you’re going to do with the bike once you get downtown. If you download the Ventra app, you can check to see where Divvy stands near you are–this is also a very useful app because it allows you to check the routes and schedules of CTA buses and trains and buy tickets to uridese the Metra.
- Head East on 55th St until you reach Promontory Point, then you will see a path that continues North and South.
- Head North on this path, it’s called Lakefront Trail
- Keep riding this path until you get downtown, the path will take you all the way up to Millenium Park where the Bean is!
- You can also walk this path too!
To the Nutella Cafe by Metra:
The Metra is one of my favorite ways to get around because their trains are really nice–they have real conductors, super comfortable seats and two stories of seating. You do have to pay to ride the Metra, but as of right now, it’s only $2 because the city is subsidizing the cost to ride it. The Metra is really convenient because it’s very quick and the stop is right on campus so you can walk to get there.
- Download the Ventra app and purchase your tickets to ride the Metra. Select Metra Electric as the line you’re riding
- Select 59th St as your departure stop and Millenium Station as your destination.
- Head to the 59th St stop, it’s on the east end of the Midway, right next to I-House
- Hop on the train and ride it to Millenium Station
- Exit the station and walk one block up and the cafe will be on your right!