Ticket to Ride Bus offers rides between campus, Chicago suburbs

By Jordan Birchfield

For suburban NIU students who frequently go home on the weekends, transportation can be a hassle. Ticket to Ride Bus hopes to help with this problem.

Ticket to Ride Bus Company is a new bus service for NIU students that offers rides between the NIU campus and the Chicago suburbs every Thursday, Friday and Sunday. According to their website, Ticket to Ride Bus hopes to make the commute between the NIU campus and the Chicago suburbs on the weekends easier.

The company was started by Elvin Hofmann, and services began Jan. 27. Hofmann said the company consists of two other employees who are the bus drivers.

“Almost every Big Ten school in the vicinity of Chicago and the surrounding states has a bus service,” Hofmann said.

Hofmann said Greyhound did not offer service between the suburbs and the university.

“When I was told NIU didn’t have a bus service for students, I didn’t believe it,” Hofmann said.

Hofmann said he saw the lack of service as a good business opportunity. The idea came to him after he had heard complaints of an NIU parent who would always have to pick her kids up on Fridays and then drop them back off on Sundays.

The company provides round trip transportation from the NIU campus to several suburban malls and locations. According to the website, tickets should be purchased online to ensure that there are spots available.

Many students agree that NIU should have more transportation options for getting to and leaving campus.

“Not everyone has a car, and if you want to go home on the weekends, it can be a hassle,” said Amanda Insalaco, junior community leadership and civic engagement major.

Kyle Urbashich, sophomore business administration major, also thinks the service could help students like himself.

“If I could get to Oakbrook, it would be a lot easier to get home on the weekends,” Urbashich said.

Hofmann said he expects business to be slow at first, but is optimistic about his new company and the options it provides for students.