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Business Travel

Bus or Rail

University of Illinois System employees must seek the lowest available fare that meets the needs of the system and the convenience of the traveler when making commercial bus or rail travel arrangements.

Preferred Transportation Between Universities

In order to reduce costs and environmental impact, as well as improve productivity, the preferred method of travel between Chicago and Urbana-Champaign is UI Ride. The preferred method of travel between Chicago and Springfield is Amtrak or Greyhound.

Scheduling Inter-University Transportation and Meetings

For travel between Chicago and Urbana-Champaign, the intercampus shuttle service, UI Ride, is the preferred mode of transportation. Meetings should be planned around the UI Ride schedule whenever possible.

For travel between Chicago and Springfield, meetings should correspond with Amtrak's schedule:

      For Chicago - start after 10:30am; end by 6:00pm

      For Springfield - start after 10:45am; end by 6:30pm

As state employees, system employees receive discounted rates on Amtrak when traveling on business between Springfield and Chicago. The State of Illinois one-way Coach rate of $24.00 (either direction) is available Monday through Friday. Reservations for the discounted rate cannot be made online.

Contact Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or TDD/TTY (1-800-523-6590) and speak with a reservation agent. Be sure to identify travelers as State of Illinois employees and request the State of Illinois rate.

Government issued identification (i-Card) is required.

Preferred Payment Methods

The preferred method of payment for UI Ride is a CFOP through the reservation application for business travel and a personal credit card for non-business travel.

The preferred method for purchasing commercial bus or rail tickets is a TCard. TCard holders may purchase commercial bus and rail tickets for employees and non-employees for qualified business travel within their unit. The traveler is responsible for retaining ticket stubs or itineraries that are required to process an expense report.

If the person for whom the ticket was issued does not use the ticket for official University of Illinois business travel, the ticket must be returned to the issuing agency (or other provider) for a credit, less any cancellation or transfer fees. The TCard holder is not allowed to receive a refund in cash or voucher.

Purchase of Tickets with Personal Funds

If an employee is not able to pay with a preferred method, then the employee may purchase tickets for approved system travel using their own personal funds. If this method is used, employees are reimbursed for the ticket purchase on an expense report submitted at the completion of the trip. Appropriate receipts and approvals are required.

Internal Control of Tickets Purchased with TCard or Other Means

The employee is responsible for ensuring that any bus or rail tickets purchased in advance with system funds, via the TCard or other means, are utilized for appropriate system business travel, per University of Illinois, State, and Federal regulations.

Last Updated: February 3, 2022

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