Huskie Safe Line integrated into city transport


The route of the Huskie Safe Line as of Nov. 2.

By Ashley Dwy

DeKALBThe Huskie Safe Line was replaced by the Huskie Route 11 Nov. 2 in an effort to consolidate the DeKalb transit system. The Huskie Route 11 covers the same area the Huskie Safe Line covered and provides its service for both students and DeKalb residents once an hour from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The Huskie Route 11 operated 362 days a year, with exceptions for New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, according to the DeKalb Public Transit website. Fare for students is still free, but residents pay 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for senior citizens, disabled citizens, and K-12 students.

The new route starts at the Holmes Student Center and ends at the DuSable Turnaround.

Like the Huskie Safe Line, the Huskie Route 11 bus is trackable in real-time through the ETA mobile spot app, DeKalb Transit Manager Marcus Cox said. 

Originally, the intergovernmental agreement for integrated transit services that was established on Oct. 22, 2018, did not include the Huskie Safe Line, just the Huskie Bus Lines and the city of DeKalb’s TransVAC service, according to a Northern Star article.

The Safe Line ended up being incorporated because part of the agreement stipulated the city absorbing the overnight transit service, Cox said.

The Huskie Safe Line was overseen and fully funded by NIU from 1971 to 2019, before discussions to consolidate the transit service started back in 2017. On Jan. 1, 2019, the city took over the majority of the cost of the transit system through state and federal grants. NIU provides approximately $2 million a year to contribute to this service, Cox said.

“We still recognize the importance of having a late-night bus, and we wanted to be sure especially in the midst of this pandemic that the Route 11 bus will provide the service we need,” Cox said.