Transportation services expand for academic year

DePaul has unveiled two solutions for cross-campus student transportation, as students continue to express concerns over their safety while riding the CTA.

The inter-campus shuttle and Vinnie Van services are expanding through the 2022–23 school year. The inter-campus shuttle will operate between the Loop and LPC, while the Vinnie Van service will transport students from LPC to neighboring residential addresses.

The shuttle runs between the Loop and Lincoln Park campuses on a continuous loop from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Pickup and drop-off are in front of the DePaul Center on Jackson Blvd. in the Loop, as well as in Lot H behind the Lincoln Park Student Center.

Maya Oclassen

Students can use an app to track the shuttle’s location, according to Newsline. Students only need to show their valid DePaul ID to access the shuttle.

The Student Government Association (SGA) and Facility Operations collaborated to implement the inter-campus shuttle program earlier this year. 

Cole Kitchens, SGA executive vice president of operations, believes that providing a safer alternative for students to commute between campuses and an option to get home without having to use the CTA is important.

“New students are not familiar with the campus and the CTA lines,” Kitchens said. “You don’t get a CTA advice handbook when you enroll in college, and you never know if a ride on the CTA will lead to a bad situation.”

Some students, like sophomore Edwin Dieta, find the CTA overly crowded, making them uncomfortable using it.

“I think having the shuttle is important for the safety of students,” Dieta said. 

“I think it shows that the school actually cares about us by giving us different ways of getting around both campuses,” Dieta added. “Not everyone has these opportunities or the resources, so it’s nice to have and use them.”

In addition to the inter-campus shuttle, the Vinnie Van services are accessible throughout the entire year. Previously, they were only accessible during finals week. The service is available from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, Finals week will see longer hours. Friday and Saturday will have neither service available.

Kevin Holechko, SGA president, believes using the Vinnie Van service will revolutionize how DePaul transports students from Lincoln Park to their homes. 

“It essentially would make it an incredibly safe way for students who live within the boundaries to get home with ease,” Holechko said. “Rather than being forced to take the Red, Brown, and beyond lines at, say, eight or nine in the evening, now they can wait for one of the Vinnie Vans to take them safely home.”

To be dropped off, students must fill out a brief form that includes their residence address inside the drop-off boundaries. Boundaries for the Vinnie Van services are Ashland (West), North Ave (South), Addison (North), and Sheridan (East). 

The inter-campus shuttle and Vinnie Van buses will both have magnetic signs that say “Inter-campus Shuttle” or “Vinnie Van.”

Drivers will also remind riders of the service before they depart, according to Newsline.

“Yeah, you can jump on the CTA bus, they do their jobs, but you’re on a bus full of strangers,” Holechko said. “You don’t know how many of those people on that bus are fully vaccinated. As to where if you use a DePaul shuttle or van, you know, everybody on it is up to date with their vaccination records and they all go to school at DePaul.”

Connect with Vanessa Lopez: @v_lopez__ | [email protected]