No Car on Campus? No Problem!


Image Courtesy Pexels

By Sarah LaLond

If you drive at NIU, then you know the struggle of finding a parking spot in the correctly colored lot. You’re also probably familiar with the tickets and fines aspect of Campus Parking Services. If you don’t have car on campus, don’t worry; here are three alternatives to driving at NIU.



Any student with a valid OneCard has access to the Huskie Line bus system. Students can use the ETA SPOT app (available on iPhone and Android) to track the buses. The app lists the different bus routes and stops throughout NIU and into the surrounding area stores. The app also gives users an estimated time until buses reach each stop.

“I just wanted a faster way to get to the dorms,” first year Emily Kmiec said. Buses start running from approximately 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., and then the Huskie Safe Line is available from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. While the Holmes Student Center turnaround is closed for renovation, the main bus drop off will come through the DuSable loop.



Few things are as quintessentially college as walking around the quad and getting lost in the sea of backpacks, coffee and conversations. Similar to most college campuses, walking at NIU is paramount.

NIU is “…more lengthwise than circular, so [it] takes a while to walk to the Psych Building,” junior psychology major Rachel Pollock said. For students looking to walk through campus, the NIU app comes with a digital map of the grounds.

“People look out, and I’ve never almost been hit,” English major Josh Heinlein said. As a transfer student, Heinlein agrees that NIU is a pedestrian-friendly campus and believes that the crosswalks are at good locations.



NIU makes it easy to bring your own bike and lock it up at one of the many bike racks around campus. Biking might not seem like an activity for every season, but NIU students are adept at biking in all kinds of weather.

“I usually just wear a windbreaker,” first year nursing major Jesus Garcia said, regarding cooler or rainy weather.

As of last semester, NIU introduced VeoRide, a bike sharing program that allows students to rent bikes by scanning the QR code on the bike. Students can pay 50 cents for 15 minutes of ride time or opt to get daily, monthly or yearly passes for $6.99, $13.99 and $48.99, respectively. The daily plan includes 24 hours of unlimited two-hour rides, and the monthly and yearly plans have unlimited 30-minute rides.

NIU offers students alternatives when it comes to transportation, so take a bus, a ride a bike or walk and experience the campus without the hassle of finding a parking spot.