Transportation

Location
Undergrads
8,542
Tuition
$43,779
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews

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2 College Freshman

Transportation: Ok so the standard Chicago transit system goes through Evanston. EL stops are pretty close but if you use them regularly you better have some form of income because though they aren't overly expensive, they are not super cheep and there is no student discount. Northwestern transportation is bad. Though the idea is nice (the intercampus shuttle is great) shuttles (except the intercampus) can be very very late, as in this is not an option to get to class. The times are terrible, they run around once an hour but a lot of shuttles don't start until evening. The shop and ride (goes to target and CVS) is nice but is not consistent. Honestly transportation through the university is bad. We are just big enough for it to be annoying that transportation sucks, but just small enough that the University doesn't find it neccessary to really invest in the system.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Pace bus! So much cheaper than a taxi.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Campus shuttles are always late, but you can pretty much walk anywhere you want to go.

3 College Senior

Transportation: Campus shuttles are supposedly pretty good.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: Public transportation is pretty good around here. On-campus transportation isn't great, particularly in the extreme cold. The busses constantly run late and are easily over-packed

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 195th
    Most Easily Accessible Town
  • 325th
    Best Campus Transit
  • 1354th
    Best Car Campuses

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Shayna Starr
Hometown
Houston, Texas
Major
Journalism
Grad Year
2014
View all previous student authors

Getting around Northwestern's campus is fairly easy. The walk from the southern tip of campus to its northernmost point should take no longer than 15 minutes; everything around campus, including downtown Evanston, is within walking distance. There is a campus shuttle that picks students up at various places on Sheridan Road and travels the length of campus. The shuttle is usually reliable, with pickup times that parallel class schedules. However, there are bound to be those days when you are sitting outside in the snow waiting for your shuttle, and it doesn’t show up. For these particularly cold days, Northwestern offers the Frost-Bite Express, a shuttle that runs specifically on days when the weather is below 0 F. Welcome to Chicago winters.

There is also the Intercampus Shuttle that takes students from Northwestern’s Evanston campus to its Downtown Chicago campus. The drop-off location is just steps away from the great shops along Michigan Avenue, so many students use this as an easy way to get to Chicago. Also, all campus shuttles are completely free with a WildCARD. Students also utilize the CTA, and Northwestern sits right along the Purple Line, meaning that many of Chicago’s greatest attractions are just a short "L" ride away. Many students do complain that the University doesn’t give out U-Passes like other Chicago area universities. Hopefully, this will change soon.

Facts & Statistics

Best Ways to Get Around Town
  • Campus shuttle
  • SafeRide
  • Walk
Best Ways to Get to the Airport
A cab ride to the airport costs $25 to $40, depending on the taxi company and airport destination.
Local Taxi Services
303 Taxi, Norshore Cab, and Yellow Cab Co. are a few local taxi services.
Did You Know?
  • In addition to the shuttle that runs throughout and between the campuses, NU also offers the following shuttles: Athletic Events Shuttle (provides transportation to all home football and men's basketball games), Chicago Express Shuttle (runs from Evanston to four downtown Chicago locations on select Saturdays), and Ryan Field Shuttle (runs between the main campus, Central/Green Bay Metra Station, and Ryan Field parking lot), and Shop-N-Ride Shuttle (runs to Target, Best Buy, OfficeMax, Jewel, and Lincolnwood Towne Center on select Sundays).
  • Check SafeRide wait times on Twitter: @SafeRideWait.

Safety Escort ServicesWhat's This?

SafeRide
(847) 491-7000
Daily 7 p.m.-3 a.m.

Campus ShuttleWhat's This?

Intercampus Shuttle

This free shuttle runs between the Evanston and Chicago campuses.

(847) 467-5284

(708) 474-7474

Monday-Friday 6:40 a.m.-11 p.m.

Frostbite Express Shuttle

This shuttle runs throughout campus during the day when temperatures are in the single digits or there is a wind-chill factor below zero.

Evanston and Campus Loop Shuttles

These free shuttles run throughout the Evanston campus, as well as between campus and downtown Evanston.

(847) 467-5284

(708) 474-7474

Daily 6 p.m.-3 a.m.

Public TransitWhat's This?

Chicago Transit Authority

(312) 836-7000

(888) 968-7282 customer service

(888) 282-8891 TTY

567 W. Lake St., Chicago

www.transitchicago.com

Nearest AirportWhat's This?

O'Hare International Airport

O'Hare is approximately 18 miles from the Evanston campus.

10000 W. O'Hare, Chicago

(773) 894-2940

www.ohare.com/About/OHare

Midway International Airport

Midway is approximately 25 miles from the Evanston campus.

5700 S. Cicero Ave., Chicago

(800) 832-6352

www.ohare.com/About/Midway

Nearest Passenger BusWhat's This?

Greyhound

The station is approximately 16 miles from the Evanston campus.

630 W. Harrison St., Chicago

(312) 408-5821

www.greyhound.com

Nearest Passenger TrainWhat's This?

Amtrak - Union Station

The station is approximately 20 miles from the Evanston campus.

225 S. Canal St., Chicago

(800) 872-7245

www.amtrak.com

Amtrak

The station is seven miles from the Evanston campus.

1116 Depot St., Glenview

(800) 872-7245

www.amtrak.com

Student Polls

How necessary is it to have a car on campus?    Based on 61 responses

  • 0% Campus is isolated, so students rely mostly on cars to get them where they need to go.
  • 3% The shuttle/bus service often fails to meet student needs, so a car is very practical.
  • 54% Students usually walk or take the bus, but cars are nice for venturing outside the bus line.
  • 41% Cars are totally pointless. Everything you need is within walking distance.
  • 2% You can't have a car here.

How convenient is the campus-provided transportation?    Based on 61 responses

  • 30% Easily accessible, runs frequently and has many pick-up locations.
  • 39% Somewhat accessible with a schedule that usually parallels class times.
  • 21% Moderately difficult to utilize, the pick-up times and locations are far and few between.
  • 5% Extremely difficult to utilize-it's not reliable nor is it convenient for a student's schedule.
  • 5% Nonexistent.

Rate the convenience of the following transit options    Based on 48 responses

Non-applicable
Very convenient
  • Campus shuttle
  • Public transportation
  • Taxis
  • Zip cars

Rate the cost of the following transit options    Based on 49 responses

Non-applicable
Free
  • Campus shuttle
  • Public transportation
  • Taxis
  • Zip cars

Rate the convenience of long-distance transportation to travel between home and school    Based on 48 responses

Non-applicable
Very convenient
  • Airport
  • Passenger bus
  • Passenger train
  • Ride sharing

How easy is it to get around town?    Based on 61 responses

  • 44% Very easy.
  • 54% Fairly easy.
  • 2% Fairly difficult.
  • 0% Very difficult.
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