For offices and properties that are not near to transit locations, shuttle bus services can feel like a lifeline to help tenants get to and from the property. Our client, a real estate investment firm, was seeking opportunities to reduce its shuttle operating expenses for connections between its AMA Plaza property and various transit stations in downtown Chicago. AMA Plaza is a downtown Chicago skyscraper designed by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Formerly known as IBM Plaza, it is now home to the American Medical Association.
Wells + Associates’ Connect+ Team performed a detailed analysis of AMA Plaza’s shuttle system, including shuttle routes, stops, costs, and service headways. We also performed a ridership and alternative route analysis of the office shuttle operations. Our analysis determined that certain underused shuttle stops could be replaced and improved with more cost-effective ridesharing services which we researched, designed, and negotiated on behalf of the property.
Additionally, through careful route planning and testing, we identified an alternative route for the shuttle to take to the remaining stops – a route that was much quicker than the existing one. This enabled AMA Plaza’s shuttle to serve the remaining stops with one less shuttle bus and still maintain the same frequency of service that tenants had been accustomed to enjoying. Wells + Associates not only planned the changes, but were onsite meeting with and assisting riders during the entire first week to make sure the new system operated smoothly.
The result: By replacing a shuttle stop with a Lyft ride-hailing system developed by Wells + Associates, the property owner saved over $100,000 annually. Tenants benefited with the addition of another transportation option that was partially subsidized by the property and was a faster and more reliable shuttle connection.