Traveling around DeKalb made easy


Northern Star file photo

Haven Dubeck, a junior psychology major, is starting a club to support and advocate for students with disabilities. A goal for the new club is to get parking and bus accommodations.

By Brandon Montemayor

DeKALB — Getting around an unfamiliar place can prove to be a daunting task, with DeKalb and NIU being no different. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the area, knowing how to get around and understanding where things are located is crucial to everyday life. 

Navigating DeKalb is actually pretty simple, especially for NIU students who have access to the “Huskie Line,” the City of DeKalb’s bus system, which is free to students upon arrival. 

“NIU students ride free on all routes with their OneCard,” DeKalb Transit Manager Marcus Cox said. These routes take riders all throughout DeKalb and the surrounding area, from the residence halls and the Annie Glidden North area to as far as Elburn and Peace Road in Sycamore.

“The only route that students have to pay a fare on is the one that goes to the Elburn Metra station, Route 12,” Cox said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all routes will be free for all riders throughout the rest of 2021, Cox said.

Students use these bus lines to travel to and from class back to the residence halls and utilize  the Huskie Line to get to the library, downtown DeKalb, local restaurants and grocery or department stores.

“It [The Huskie Bus] was great for longer trips, like across campus or anywhere over a half a mile or so away,” said NIU Alumnus Tyler Motykowski. The bus was super convenient, but for the shorter trips, I’d usually just walk the paths on campus.” 

The Huskie Line buses run seven days a week with line times varying anywhere from 7 a.m. – 12 a.m. and each specific time can be found on the City’s website

The website also offers a “Plan your Trip” feature that allows the rider to input their current location, their desired destination, time and date of their trip and the website will completely map out which bus route or active transport way to take. 

Of course, rideshare options such as Uber, Lyft and taxis are also available throughout DeKalb. Businesses such as DeCab Taxi provide taxi services, with the City of DeKalb ranking a 6/10 on UpHail’s rideshare service metric. 

It’s also imperative that commuting students have a set plan for getting around campus. Obviously, commuters should know their best route to campus, but where these students may face their biggest challenge is in how to best go about being on campus without a living space.

“One of the things I found important about commuting was making sure that I had a place to study during the day; without living there, you have to find good places to go to get work done,” said Jon Chezewski, NIU Alumnus and former commuter student.

For more information about DeKalb public transit or to map out a trip using public transportation, click here.