Proposed Transit Changes
The City of DeKalb, Voluntary Action Center (VAC), and Northern Illinois University (NIU) have been working together to restructure several TransVAC and Huskie Line bus routes in order to provide a better coordinated and on-time bus route system for the DeKalb metropolitan area, per the 2017 Transit Develop Plan published by the DeKalb Sycamore Area Transportation Study (DSATS). In addition, a coordinated public transit fare system has been developed. This memo identifies the major changes to the public transit system and addresses the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) during the public comment period.
- Changes to the VAC Green Line:
- The Green Line will be renamed Route 18 and is being rerouted to increase on-time performance and reliability.
- The Southern end of the Green Line which serviced 7th Street, Taylor Street, NIU, and Downtown DeKalb will be served by Huskie Routes 16 and 17 (previously Routes 6 and 7)
- There will now be bus service along West Dresser Road and the DeKalb High School.
- Weekend bus service will begin on September 1, 2018.
- Changes to VAC Blue Line:
- The Blue Line will be renamed Route 21.
- Blue Line weekend service will begin on September 1, 2018.
- Changes to VAC Kishwaukee Red Line:
- The Kishwaukee College Red Line will be renamed Route 24.
- Bus route and subscription fares will remain the same.
- Changes to the Huskie Routes 6 and 7:
- Huskie Routes 6 and 7 will change to Routes 16 and 17 respectively.
- Routes 16 and 17 will replace the bus service previously provided by the VAC Green Line south of Sycamore Road.
- Riders will be able to remain on the same bus to ride both Routes 16 and 17. The Route number will automatically change at the Holmes Student Center bus stop.
- Bus Service will be provided 7 days a week and 362 days a year.
- Reduce Paratransit fare from $1.50 to $1.00.
- Standardized Fares on both VAC Route 18 (previously Green) and Route 21 (Blue) and Huskie Routes 16 and 17:
- 50 cent fare for adults. VAC’s former fare was 50 cents and Huskie Line’s former fare was $1.00.
- 25 cent fare for senior citizens, age 65 or older and people with disabilities. This has been raised, as VAC’s former fare was a free policy.
- 25 cent fare for K-12 students. VAC’s former fare was 50 cents.
- NIU Students, staff, and faculty with a valid NIU OneCard ride free. VAC’s former fare was the standard rate, on Huskie Line students, faculty, and staff already rode free with the NIU OneCard.
- Free transfers between VAC and Huskie Line Routes. Previously there was no free transfers between VAC and Huskie.
- Will Taylor Street Plaza lose its bus stop? Taylor Street Plaza will continue to have its current bus stop. The bus stop will now be served by Huskie Route 16, rather than the VAC Green Line. Passengers can stay on the Rt. 16 bus which will become Rt. 17 at Holmes. Rt. 17 from the north will become Rt. 16 at Holmes when traveling south back to Taylor St.
- Will the DeKalb County Health Department (DCHD) Complex lose its bus stop? While the DCHD complex will no longer have a regular bus stop, Route 18 will stop at the DCHD from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. during weekdays. A new Rt. 25 has been developed and will serve the DCHD for passengers along the fixed route corridor. Route 25 will be a flex route and will leave the DCHD at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. As a flex route with no set timetables, Route 25 will take passengers to destinations along the fixed route corridor upon request. In addition, Route 25 can be routed ahead of time upon request to bring passengers to the DCHD between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
- Will Dresser Court Apartments lose its Bus Stop? The Green Line will be renamed Route 18 and will serve Dresser Court Apartments residents at the bus stop on Blackhawk Rd. near Ridge Drive. Rt. 25 is flex route that will serve Dresser Ct in the afternoon and take people directly to their destination in the fixed route service area. It will also pick up people returning to Dresser Ct.
- Will the revised Green Line (Route 18) no longer serve downtown DeKalb? This is correct. People who use the new Route 18 in northwest DeKalb will have to transfer to Route 17 at one of the bus stops along Sycamore Road in order to get to Downtown DeKalb or the NIU Campus. Other Green Route passengers may have a more direct trip to downtown via Rt. 16 and/or Rt. 17.
- Will the Current Green Line no longer serve the KishHealth System Physician Group, DeKalb Clinic? This is correct. The Current VAC Blue Line will be the only bus route to serve the clinic. Persons going to the Clinic will have to transfer to the Blue Line at Wal-Mart to go there. Route 18 will continue to serve the Kishwaukee Hospital. There will be a timed transfer at Walmart to minimize the wait time between Rt. 21 (Blue) and Rt 17 and Rt. 18.
- Will the University Village weekend shuttle be eliminated? Once the new weekend service is started on September 1, 2018, the weekend University Village shuttle will be eliminated. The Route 18 bus will serve the University Village on both weekdays and weekends.
During the first few days of the changes, there will be additional staff riding all buses to explain the changes and assist passengers in getting to their destinations. All route and fare changes begin Monday, August 20, 2018. Full weekend bus service begins Saturday, September 1, 2018.
Public Transit Options
While public transit options are not as plentiful as they are in larger areas, there are still several options from which residents, students, visitors, and workers have to choose from such as:
- The Voluntary Action Center provides door-to-door paratransit services for residents in DeKalb County, as well as routes serving DeKalb, Sycamore, and Kishwaukee College.
- Northern Illinois University students, staff, and faculty, as well as other residents are served by the Huskie Bus Lines.
- Greyhound recently brought bus service back to DeKalb. The bus route runs twice daily each way between Chicago and Davenport, Iowa.
- The Elburn Train Station, about 15 miles from downtown DeKalb, provides frequent train service into downtown Chicago.
Public Transit Comments
Do you have a comment or complaint about public transit in the DeKalb region? Please fill out the appropriate comment form below and we will forward your comments to the appropriate officials.
- DeKalb Sycamore Area Transportation Study (DSATS), the City of DeKalb, and the Voluntary Action Center jointly operate a Title VI Program to ensure all residents, workers, and vendors have equal access to involvement in the transportation planning process, access to transportation, and the ability on transportation funded projects. If you feel you have been a victim of discrimination while using public transit you can submit a complaint:
- DeKalb Sycamore Area Transportation Study (DSATS), the City of DeKalb, and the Voluntary Action Center jointly operate an ADA Program to ensure all people with a disability have equal access to public transit. If you have a complaint relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can submit an ADA Complaint Form.
- For other Public Transit Issues, you can submit to us a General Comment Form.
DSATS Transit Subcommittee
The Transit Subcommittee meets on the 4th Monday of each month on an as needed basis to make provide guidance on public transit issues in the DeKalb Urbanized Area (UZA)Link to page
Regional Transit Studies
Regional Transit Studies published by DSATS and other OrganizationsLink to page
Public Transit Reports & Studies
Access annual reports, plans, studies, and grant projects administered by the City of DeKalb in the provision of public transit in the DeKalb Urbanized Area.Link to page