The Huskie Safe Line, which provides fast, free transportation across campus and to nearby neighborhoods and businesses, has been revamped to provide better service to students.
“We realized that parking restrictions implemented as part of the city of DeKalb’s Safe Streets initiative were going to create some new challenges, so we spoke with members of the Student Association and adjusted the routes to meet those needs,” says Deputy Chief Jason John of the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety.
After listening to student concerns and evaluating where students were likely to park, the police mapped out new routes. One major change was increasing the number of stops in the Greek Row by more than 50 percent. “Because many students now must park far from where they live, we wanted to provide a safe, comfortable way to get them to and from their homes to their cars,” says John.
Routes also were adjusted to make it easier for students to catch a ride and new stops near Founders Memorial Library, the Psych-Math building and near the John Street neighborhood, as well as at several local businesses.
“We didn’t just look at Greek Row,” says John. “This is part of a comprehensive campus safety plan that includes increased patrols in surrounding neighborhoods and an increased presence of the Huskie Patrol in campus parking lots and residence hall lobbies. We want students to feel safe, and be safe, no matter where they are on or around campus.”
Huskie Safe Line vans operate every night from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. They are driven by NIU Department of Police and Public Safety security guards. Vans typically take about 30 minutes to complete the route.
The South Route, which departs from the Holmes Student Center, circulates around campus makes 19 stops including at Gilbert Hall, Stevenson North and South, Grant North, New Hall East and West, and the Northern View Buildings 2 and 5. The route now includes stops in The Knolls, on John Street, at The Junction shopping plaza, Fatty’s Bar and Grill, Molly’s Bar, and Tom and Jerry’s restaurant.
The North Route, which serves Greek Row, Eco Park and other neighborhoods, now makes 29 stops including at Barsema Hall, the School of Nursing, New Hall and Neptune Hall, and numerous spots along Greek Row.
For more information on the service visit the Huskie Safe Line website. The page includes a link to the Huskie Bus Tracker app which provides a complete map of the routes and up-to-the-minute information on wait times for each stop. “The app makes the service much more convenient by minimizing the amount students spend waiting at a bus stop and makes the service much more convenient,” says John.
The Huskie Safe Line is available to NIU students, faculty and staff. To ride, simply present a valid NIU One Card. A shuttle for individuals with disabilities, or those traveling with children, is available by calling 815-753-2222.