Keeping Yourself Safe

Being aware of your surroundings and being prepared for unexpected situations go hand in hand with city life. The University of Chicago encourages you to incorporate safety practices into your daily routine. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind when you are at home or out and about in the city, as well as some resources to help get you around the area.

Tips

Walking

  • Plan your way in advance. Choose well-traveled routes. Use discretion when talking or walking with any unknown persons, even if they are offering you help. Walk with purpose.
  • When possible, try to travel with friends, whether it is during the day or at night.
  • Avoid deserted areas. Do not cut through parks, alleys, or vacant lots at night.
  • If you think you are being followed, cross the street, change direction, or go to a public place where others are present.
  • If a person confronts you and demands your money or possessions, give what is demanded and create a safe distance.
  • Keep alert. Don't let a conversation on your cell phone or the use of headphones make you unaware of your surroundings.
  • Use caution when using automated teller machines (ATMs). Select one located in a busy, well-lighted area.

Bicycles

  • Use a quality, U-shaped lock to secure the frame of your bike to a bike rack.
  • Register your bike with the UCPD by contacting the Community Relations Unit at 773.702.8181. An officer will give your bike a numbered identification sticker and keep the information on record.

Residences

  • Lock your door and windows, even if you are leaving for a few minutes. Do not prop open doors.
  • Do not allow individuals to follow you into a residential facility. Report suspicious or unauthorized people immediately to College Housing, Graduate Student Housing, or the UCPD.
  • Consider purchasing renter's insurance to cover damages to or theft of your personal belongings.
  • Before you leave for an extended period of time, such as during break or for vacation, stop newspaper delivery, have a neighbor pick up your mail, and set your phone ringer to the lowest volume.
  • For landlord-tenant problems, call the city’s non-emergency information number, 311.

Vehicles

  • Keep your car locked and use a steering wheel locking device or car alarm when parked.
  • Keep all valuables out of view. Secure them in the trunk if you must leave items in the car.
  • If you experience car trouble, pull over to a safe location away from the flow of traffic. Stay in your car with the doors locked. Take a look around and note your surroundings, landmarks, or signs. Contact the police and mention the landmarks near you so they can find you.

Parking on Campus at Night and on Weekends

Transportation & Parking Services manages one parking structure located at 55th Street and Ellis Avenue, as well as a number of surface parking lots on campus. Visitor parking is available at the Campus North (Ellis) Parking Garage for $4 an hour. Most surface lots are free after 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends (this does not include the Campus North (Ellis) Garage). Non-permit vehicles must be removed by 8 a.m. Monday through Friday or this may result in a citation. Most University parking lots, including the Campus North (Ellis) Garage, have emergency phones and are well lit. For more information, visit safety-security.uchicago.edu/services/campus_parking. You may also email parking@uchicago.edu for additional inquiries related to parking services.

University Transportation

Bus Service

The University provides many options for you to travel around the greater campus area. For the most up-to-date information, visit safety-security.uchicago.edu/transportation.

NightRide Shuttle Program

Students, faculty, and staff have access to various University shuttles that operate within the UCPD area of coverage (37th Street to 64th Street, Cottage Grove Avenue to Lake Shore Drive). Be prepared to tap your UChicago Card or University of Chicago Medicine ID when boarding shuttles. For the most accurate NightRide information, visit safety-security.uchicago.edu/transportation.

Safety Escort Program

University students, faculty, or staff within the UCPD area of coverage indicated above can request an escort at any time from the UCPD if they feel uncomfortable with their surroundings. Call the UCPD and give your location, and someone will be dispatched to accompany you as you walk.

Injured Student Transportation

A student who needs injured student transportation services should contact Student Disability Services at 773.702.7776 or gmoorehead@uchicago.edu, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Student Disability Services (SDS) will collect the injured student’s essential information (through the service request form), including address, phone number, email address, and schedule with locations, dates, and times when transportation is needed. SDS will forward the information to Transportation & Parking Services. A representative from Transportation & Parking Services will contact the student to confirm transportation arrangements. Once service has been confirmed, the student should send any subsequent questions about arrival or departure to bus@uchicago.edu.

Students should understand that it may take up to two business days for service to commence once the request has been received by Transportation & Parking Services. Business hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, not including holidays. In the interim, the student should arrange other transportation options. Pickup and drop-off times may vary depending on service demands. Injured student transportation will be provided for the student but not for any third party.

Injured student transportation will be provided:

  • to and from the perimeter of the Main Quadrangle Pedestrian Zone (MQPZ)
  • to and from the library for studying
  • to and from medical treatments at the University of Chicago Medicine
  • to and from campus dining locations for meals

All bus transportation at the University of Chicago is accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the University-subsidized Chicago Transit Authority bus routes 170, 171, 172, and 192.

Public Transportation

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

You can find detailed CTA information at transitchicago.com, by calling
888.YOUR.CTA (888.968.7282), or at the Reynolds Club.

Metra

Trains run daily from Hyde Park to the Loop and south suburbs. Find schedules at metrarail.com, at any Metra station, or at the Reynolds Club.

Taxi Service

To hire a taxi, contact Yellow Cab at 312.TAXICAB (312.829.4222) or Checker Cab at 312.CHECKER (312.243.2537).