Bringing in the New Year with safe, easy transport


By Becky Nguyen

With many bars located right in the heart of campustown, college can spoil students by keeping some of the most memorable nights a mere walking distance away. Unfortunately, the tables have turned now that college students return home to the Chicago area and others for the holidays.

Whether attending an event, concert or party this New Year’s Eve in Chicago, transportation is a top consideration. Having a fast and reliable method of transportation can resolve petty issues that could come up in the night.

Catching a cab is always an option, but it can be a tremendous hassle on the holiday. Finding an empty one will only be half the battle. Successfully hailing it down and getting home all in one piece is a whole different story. Luckily, there are other means of getting around the Chicago area on New Year’s Eve.


For those who are ringing in the New Year in Champaign-Urbana, MTD will not be offering services on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Their services will resume Friday and service reductions continue through Jan. 18.

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However, SafeRides, will be up and running on New Year’s Eve. They will be providing their services for students during winter break starting on Dec. 21 throughout Jan. 17.

Chicago and other cities 

Chicago will be offering city-dwellers free CTA bus and train rides. According to the official CTA webpage, “the annual tradition continues beginning late in the evening … through the early morning hours on New Year’s Day.” They’re trying to get as many drivers off the roads as possible by offering people a free and convenient option of getting from place to place.

As with many other similar companies, New Year’s Eve is Uber’s busiest night of the year. Uber lets app users request a ride and pay via mobile phone. It claims to be better, faster and cheaper than a taxi. However, that may not be the case on NYE. Surge pricing will take effect, which means prices will fluctuate accordingly to increases in demand.

Pedicabs are another way for party-hoppers to get from point A to point B. They are bicycle taxis and mainly concentrated in the Chicago downtown area. Drivers set their own prices so they can vary anywhere from $10 to $80.

The cheaper and hassle-free option is to have a designated driver. It’s not easy to talk a friend into giving up drinking privileges on New Year’s Eve, but it would be well worth it if that meant everyone would get home safely.

Whatever the New Year festivities, remember that there’s no need to drive when there are so many other alternatives.

Becky can be reached at [email protected].