Student Government

The University of Chicago

CTA U-Pass

Tyler Kissinger

In Spring 2014, we included a survey in an all-student email to learn about students' thoughts about the CTA U-Pass program, and their current and possible future use of public transportation with a U-Pass. The results of the survey, although while likely enjoying a selection bias, were very favorable; for this reason, it is our plan to work on gathering more data and likely building a case for the College to begin offering a U-Pass during the 2015-2016 school year.

The results of the survey can be found here. Some notes about the data:

  • The question about whether the student lives in our outside of Hyde Park was added after about 300 responses had already been submitted, so we don't have full data on that point.
  • Due to some counting quirk, many of the cells that display "1" should be displaying "0," so some of the percentages and sums are incorrect (although if this has any substantial affect on the results, then the data are statistically insignificant and we'd need a larger dataset to draw any serious conclusions in the first place).
  • On that note, the College and perhaps the Biological Sciences Division, Law School, and Booth are the only divisions with enough responses to likely merit a statistically significant sampling. However, we must keep in mind a possible selection bias in students who chose to take the survey. More data is required to make any serious conclusions about graduate divisions, so I'll focus here on the College.
  • Some important numbers to take note of:
    • As of noon April 17 2014, about 70% of College students favor having a U-Pass, with 17% unsure and 13% opposed.
    • The cost of a U-Pass is approximately $7.50 per week; on average, a College student pays for CTA about 3 times per week ($6.75/week). The median is 2 ($4.50/week) times per week. With a hypothetical U-Pass, the average would be over 5 ($11.25/week) times per week, and the median would be 4 ($9.00/week). Some reasons for this jump include an increased willingness to explore Chicago, getting an internship outside of Hyde Park, and a greater willingness to travel to shop for things like groceries outside of Hyde Park. Both the average and median, with a U-Pass, put us over the $7.50 threshold of financial sensibility.