Bus or Rail
University employees must seek the lowest available fare that meets the needs of the University and the convenience of the traveler when making commercial bus or rail travel arrangements.
University employees are entitled to discounted rates when traveling within Illinois on Amtrak. The discounted rates vary between city pairs and are offered Monday through Friday for business travel only. Reservations cannot be made online.
Contact Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or TDD/TTY (1-800-523-6590) and press '0' to speak with an agent. Be sure to identify travelers as State of Illinois employees and request 'fare plan ZOGI'.
Government issued identification (i-Card) is required. Discounted rates are not offered for all city pairs.
Preferred Transportation Between Campuses
In order to reduce costs and environmental impact, the preferred method of travel between the Chicago and Champaign and the Chicago and Springfield campuses is Amtrak or Greyhound. The state employee discount on Amtrak reduces the cost of one-way travel:
Between Chicago and Champaign: as low as $14 vs. $78 for a personal vehicle
Between Chicago and Springfield: as low as $21 vs $118 for a personal vehicle
Scheduling Inter-Campus Meetings
In order to facilitate sustainable and convenient travel between campuses, meeting organizers are encouraged to schedule meetings around the Amtrak schedule:
For Chicago - start after 10:30am; end by 3:30pm
For Springfield - start after 10:45am; end by 4:30pm
For Champaign - start after 11:00am, end by 6:15pm
Purchase Bus or Rail Tickets with Travel-Card (T-Card)
The preferred method for purchasing commercial bus or rail tickets is with the T-Card. Designated Travel Arrangers / T-Card holders, set up as Power Users in TEM, 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 the TEM Expense Report.
If the person for whom the ticket was issued does not use the ticket for official University business travel, the ticket must be returned to the issuing agency (or other provider) for a credit, less any cancellation or transfer fees. The T-Card Cardholder is not allowed to receive a refund in cash or voucher.
Purchase of Tickets with Personal Funds
The T-Card is the preferred method of purchasing tickets for bus or rail transportation. However, employees may purchase tickets for approved University travel using their own personal funds. If this method is used, employees are reimbursed for the ticket purchase on the TEM Expense Report submitted at the completion of the trip. Appropriate receipts and approvals are required.
Internal Control of Tickets Purchased with T-Card or Other Means
The employee is responsible for ensuring that any bus or rail tickets purchased in advance with University funds, via the T-Card or other means, are utilized for appropriate University business travel, per University, State, and Federal regulations.
Last Updated: October 12, 2015