DeKalb Illinois Public Transit
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. These changes will be going into effect Monday, August 20, 2018.
The new Bus Schedule is available for download here: DeKalb Public Transit - Routes 16, 17, & 18 Ride Guide (effective 08-20-2018) (pdf)
Riders will be able to transfer free between bus routes at the following locations:
|Transfer Location||Transfers Accepted|
|Wal-Mart||Routes 17, 18, & 21|
|KinderCare||Route 18 (Northbound to Southbound)|
|7th St & Hillcrest St.||Routes 17 & 18|
|6th St & Locust St||Routes 16 & 17|
Riders will be able to stay on the bus to transfer between Routes 16 & 17. The route will automatically change at the Holmes Student Center
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.
Transit Fares (beginning 08-20-2018)
|Kishwaukee College Route Pass Holders||Free|
1 = With Medicare or Medicaid Card or other appropriate ID.
2 = For NIU students, staff, faculty, and retirees with their NIU OneCard.
3 = Children under the age of 9 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
- 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.
Voluntary Action Center (VAC)
- VAC Provides Door-to-Door paratransit and non-emergency medical transportation, as well has route deviated bus service in DeKalb and Sycamore, to residents in DeKalb County.
- Website: http://vacdk.com/transportation/
- Schedule a Ride: (815) 758.6641
- General Inquiries: (815) 758.3932
- Email VAC (via contact form)
NIU Huskie Line
- TransDev provides fixed-route bus services for NIU Students, Faculty, and Staff. In addition, Huskie Routes 16 and 17 provide public transportation t0 areas on the south side of DeKalb and the downtown DeKalb and Sycamore Road (IL-23) commercial districts.
- Phone: General Inquiries: (815) 758-6900 ext. 1
City of DeKalb
- The City of DeKalb coordinates public transit services in the DeKalb region. The City transportation staff manages overall public transit expansion and management of all federal and state public transportation grant funding. Any comments/complaints about late buses, and drivers and dispatchers issues should be sent directly to the transit providers identified above.
- Website: https://www.cityofdekalb.com/473/Transit
- Phone (815) 748-2369
DeKalb Transit Route Changes (beginning August 20, 2018):
- Route 18 (previously 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.
- Route 21 (previously VAC Blue Line):
- The Blue Line will be renamed Route 21.
- Blue Line weekend service will begin on September 1, 2018.
- No other Route Changes are Scheduled
- Route 24 (previously VAC Kishwaukee Red Line):
- The Kishwaukee College Red Line will be renamed Route 24.
- Bus route and subscription fares will remain the same.
- Route 25 (new VAC flexible route)
- Route 25 will leave DeKalb County Health Department in the afternoon & will deliver passengers to their destination.
- To schedule a ride a ride to Dresser Cort or the DeKalb County Health Department, contact VAC at 815-758-6641.
- Routes 16 & 17 (previously 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 on 7th Street and south.
- Riders will be able to stay on the bus to transfer between Routes 16 & 17. The route will automatically change at the Holmes Student Center.
- Bus Service will be provided 7 days a week and 362 days a year.
- Will the revised Green Line (Route 18) no longer serve downtown DeKalb?
- Will the Current Green Line no longer serve the KishHealth System Physician Group, DeKalb Clinic?
- Will the University Village weekend shuttle be eliminated?
- Will there be someone available to explain these transit changes to me?
Comments and Complaints
If you have a comment, complaint, or concern, we want to hear about it. This page will direct you to the appropriate complaint/comment submittal form.Link to page
TransVAC (public transit for DeKalb County)
This is a link to the Voluntary Action Center Transportation Website.Link to page
Huskie Line (NIU & DeKalb Bus Service)
Link to the Huskie Line of Northern Illinois UniversityLink to page
Greyhound (DeKalb Bus Station)
Link to the Greyhound City of DeKalb Bus Stop site.Link to page
Metra Elburn Train Station
Link to the Metra Elburn Train Station WebpageLink to page
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