After being closed for nearly 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the intercampus shuttle is back up and running with the start of the 2021 fall semester. Loyola’s 8-RIDE program, which operated last semester, is also available for students.
The intercampus shuttle — which transports students between the Lake Shore Campus (LSC) and Water Tower Campus (WTC) — runs Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Loyola’s 8-RIDE service, which offers student transportation within about a mile of the Lake Shore Campus — cutting off to the north at Touhy Avenue, west at Clark Street, south at Thorndale Avenue and east at the lake — is returning to its normal operating hours.
The 8-RIDE runs seven days a week from 6:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. and boards nightly at the southeast lobby of Cuneo Hall. The university recommends students use the Tripshot app to book rides and to receive updates on where the vehicles are.
Loyola’s intercampus shuttle and 8-RIDE services are run by a third party service, MV Transportation, which runs passenger transportation services for more than 250 organizations in North America. These services don’t operate during academic breaks.
Along with the mask and vaccine requirements in classrooms, precautions are being taken to alleviate potential COVID-19 risks on campus transit.
“Loyola also has a masking policy in place and we have implemented enhanced cleaning for all vehicles,” Manager of Campus Transportation, Gretchen Carey, explained.
Carey said she is confident students returning to the shuttle will feel right back at home.
“Loyola has partnered with MV Transportation to make the transition back to campus be as seamless as possible for our students, with no noticeable changes to service other than the COVID precautions that the university has implemented,” she said.
In the absence of the shuttle, students were left with no option but to use Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) transportation and their U-Pass to get between campuses. Taking the train, in comparison to the shuttle, adds about 10-15 minutes to the commute between campuses.
Alexander Sciarra — a first-year business major — lauded the return of the shuttle, saying he thinks it’s much easier and faster to take the shuttle downtown than using the CTA.
“It is definitely preferable to the L in terms of comfort level for me at least,” Sciarra said.
In addition to comfort, some students said they feel more secure taking the university transportation options.
“Crime on the L is a definite concern many students and especially parents have,” Zeke Johnson, a first-year biochemistry major, told The Phoenix.
The Phoenix reported just weeks ago, a student was the victim of a robbery steps away from the Loyola Red Line Stop Aug. 16.
One potential issue some students have found is the busy nature of the shuttle during peak hours. Although Sciarra has been on campus less than two weeks, he had some advice for potential shuttle passengers.
“If you want a seat, you have to get there early.”