Loyola University Chicago students know that taking the CTA’s Red Line L train can be dicey.
Of the top 10 highest crime ridden stops, the Chicago Avenue stop, which is near Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, was deemed sixth worse by the Tribune.
Loyola’s Water Tower and Lake Shore campuses are both located close to train routes, but over the summer, students prefer to take the safer form of public transportation.
“I try to avoid the red line as much as possible, so I take the bus. Not only is it more convenient for me to take the bus because of where I live, but it’s also a lot safer,” said senior Bernadette Lim, 21, a health systems management major.
CTA bus route number #147 takes passengers towards the loop, allowing Loyola students to get off at Pearson and easily walk to campus. Students consider this the better option.
“I feel nervous when near the Chicago stop, especially at night, so I prefer taking the bus versus the L,” said junior Charlene Kieffer, 20, a psychology major. “The bus just feels way safer.”
Safe is exactly what student’s need, especially now that flash mobs are back on the rise. Flash mobs involve groups of teens beating and robbing pedestrians. There have been at least four flash mob related attacks in downtown Chicago this summer, which adds the need for students to be more conscious of their transportation decisions.
“I usually take the train over the bus, I don’t like buses, but now that I am aware of the heavy crime downtown, I’m nervous about taking the train and I might take the bus more,” said junior Izabelle Rymut, 20, a biology major.
“Hearing about the flash mobs and all the crime taking place downtown definitely makes me nervous and mindful of the time of day that I access public transportation as well as how much stuff I am traveling with,” said alumna Cassandra Krupp, 22, a public relations and advertising major. “This is my first summer on the Lake Shore Campus and having just graduated, I feel myself missing the shuttle service and definitely being more aware of what form of transportation I use to get downtown and to get home from downtown.”
Loyola’s shuttle service, which takes students directly to and from Loyola’s Water Tower and Lake Shore Campus, isn’t available during the summer but students wish that wasn’t the case.
“There tends to be higher crime rates in the summer so it makes sense to have the shuttle service over the summer. Plus, just as many students take classes over the summer so it’s not like it would be a waste,” Lim said. “Honestly, I wouldn’t even mind paying a little more for tuition just to have that service because it’s so much more safe.”
“I’m sure more people would be satisfied if the shuttle service ran over the summer because it’s way easier and a lot safer, but I don’t see Loyola making that change, so, if you don’t want to take the train, take the bus,” Krupp said.