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So Many Ways to Get Around Northwestern

There are several ways to get to and from campus while saving time, energy and money

September 20, 2010
Take advantage of Northwestern University's Chicago-area location, with so many places to go and so many ways to get there. Commuters are encouraged to explore the many transportation options to and from campus.

The University offers a number of alternatives to help save energy, time and money while contributing to a more sustainable community.

Keep in mind, Sheridan Road in Evanston (southbound from Foster Street to Clark Street) is under construction this fall. As a result, cars and shuttles have been rerouted west of campus. Go to University Services to find more information about shuttle detour routes.

Below is a summary of ways to get around.

Ryan Field Shuttle

The shuttle runs 6:50 a.m. to 8:13 p.m. Monday through Friday during the academic year and connects the Central Street Metra station and Ryan Field parking lot to the main campus.

Key changes this year:

• Stops at Green Bay/Noyes, Green Bay/Simpson and Green Bay/Emerson are permanent.

• Stops at Emerson/Maple (eastbound) and Clark/Burger King have been cut.

• The route will change at Green Bay Road and Ridge Avenue to head south on Ridge Avenue for a stop at Ridge/Davis. The route will then head east on Lake Street and stop at Lake/Elmwood. The bus then turns back north at Chicago Avenue and stops at Chicago/Davis.

• Total route time has increased with the added stops.

Evanston Loop and Campus Loop Shuttles

The Evanston Loop Shuttle operates between the Evanston campus and downtown Evanston. The Campus Loop connects the northern and southern ends of the Evanston campus. These shuttles operate evening and early morning hours during the academic year. When you need to make a connection with Metra in the late evening hours, consider taking the Evanston Loop to connect with the Davis Street transportation hub. Shuttles run daily during the academic year, excluding University holidays and breaks. The Evanston Loop runs 6 p.m. to 3:10 a.m., while the Campus Loop runs 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. The Fisk Hall stop is now permanent on both routes.

Intercampus Shuttle

The Intercampus shuttle runs throughout the year from 6:40 a.m. to 11:02 p.m., connecting the Evanston and Chicago campuses. Riders must present a valid WildCARD.


Ride the bus or train with the Chicago Transit Authority. Single ride tickets and monthly passes are available. Check out the trip planner, maps and a bus tracker on the CTA website.


Metra offers convenient travel on several lines throughout the metropolitan region, stretching from Cook County to the counties of DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry and Kane. Single ride tickets, 10-ride and monthly passes are available. Due to bridge renovations along the Union Pacific North line that serves Evanston, schedules have been adjusted and trains may occasionally run late. Check for fares, routes and other information on the Metra website.


The Evanston campus has nearly three miles of bike paths, and the Chicago campus now features a dedicated bike room where riders can store their bikes safely for only $25 a year. Bike racks are installed on all University shuttle buses, and Kryptonite locks are available for purchase at cost through University Police. In addition, shower facilities are available in Evanston at Patten Gym at no charge with a valid WildCARD. Get more bicycle information at University Services.


If you're interested in carpooling, Northwestern now offers incentives such as the Emergency Ride Home program to faculty and staff participating in the NU/PACE rideshare program.

Car Sharing

Members of the community have access to two car-sharing options: Zipcar and I-Go, which provide the convenience, affordability and reliability of car transportation without the commitment of ownership. Members are billed a low hourly or daily rate that includes gas, insurance, maintenance and local parking.

Pre-Tax Incentives

Learn how you can take advantage of pre-tax benefits when you use public transportation. Contact your Human Resources representative or go to University Services.

If You Must Drive

Parking is available on the Evanston campus, and limited parking is available on the Chicago campus for qualifying faculty, staff and students.

Topics: University News