Students experience Huskie Line bus tardiness


Alyssa Queen

Huskie Bus spotted driving past Altgeld Hall and East Lagoon. (Alyssa Queen | Northern Star)

By Kaitlyn Lee-Gordon, News Reporter

DeKALB – After returning from winter break, many students noticed a significant difference in the operation of the Huskie Line bus system compared to the fall semester.

In the previous semester, each of the 2L, 2R, 3 and 5 routes offered three to four buses in the morning and one to two at night. These buses would travel to residence halls and off-campus housing.

As of Spring 2023, only one to two buses for each line are available in the morning and one at night. Since the change, the times when the buses arrive can vary due to availability, leaving many students confused when looking for their route.

Due to the lack of buses, many students have experienced overcrowding when on the bus, causing some to be left at their stop. This has also resulted in students being stuck in harsh weather conditions without a way to their destination.

The City of DeKalb’s Transit Manager Mike Neuenkirchen explained the problem was caused by the extreme weather DeKalb has been experiencing.

“The days that that happened was the days where we had some of the most bitter cold days and those are the days we’ve had the most effective service,” Neuenkirchen said. “Besides staffing, there’s also a mechanical issue, you know, when it’s like 10 below zero and you’ve got these vehicles that you’re trying to keep running.”

Neuenkirchen mentioned that as the year gets warmer, he expects the Huskie Line system to run smoothly.

“Our anticipation is to run full service. We’re not planning on cutting service,” Neuenkirchen said. “Every once in a while we’ve had to do something where they’ve had to cut a route because we haven’t had the staffing, but our expectations is that they’re going to run one hundred percent service.”

Charlie Dennis, a sophomore human resources major, described his experience with the bus system to be quite stressful.

“For off-campus students like myself, it’s been difficult to say the least,” Dennis said. “Last semester, the buses were extremely consistent with their routes. I always relied on bus 5 and bus 3 to get to class and now I can only rely on bus 3.”

Araina White, a first-year communications major, explained that the Huskie Line is very useful, but only when the opportunity to take a bus emerges.

“I enjoy taking the buses because it’s very efficient, especially during a time like this where it’s cold outside and there’s a lot of people, but it’s very hard to catch the buses,” White said. “For some reason the buses are very inconsistent. They run either two minutes after each other or 30 or 10 or 20. During the winter time it’s very bad; there are a lot of people, it’s very crowded and I know it’s very hard to stand the way the buses stop and go, people fall over all the time.”

Huskie Line maps, schedules and fees can be found on the City of DeKalb’s website. DeKalb residents may track bus routes with the SPOT app.