NTS (Neighborhood Transportation Service)

NTS (Neighborhood Transportation Service) operates a curb-to-curb van service, and provides affordable night and weekend transportation to work, school, or life skill classes during times when the fixed route city buses do not operate.

The availability of NTS at night and on weekends is a stepping stone to self sufficiency for many clients that work 2nd and 3rd shift jobs, and one that would not be possible without our transportation service. NTS connects residents of Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha to jobs, helps them maintain jobs, and affords them the flexibility to work extra hours and earn overtime pay by offering a service that fills a significant void in the community. By connecting workers to available jobs, they can develop a work history and job skills that can result in better paying jobs with benefits.

Riders schedule an appointment for pickup with NTS for transportation to three types of destinations: Work, Education and Job training at least 24 hours in advance.

Helpful Links to County and City Transportation Services:

Linn County LIFTS program: www.linncounty.org/142/LIFTS

City of Cedar Rapids Transit: www.cedar-rapids.org/transit

380 Express Corridor Rides: www.380express.com

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NTS Rules

1. Make sure you schedule your rides as soon as you know you need them.

a. To schedule a ride call (319) 363-1321 at least 24 hours in advance. All first time riders must sign up in person at the NTS office at Horizons – 819 5th St. SE. NTS office hours are Monday-Thursday from 8am-4pm, Friday 8am-3pm.

b. Office staff isn’t available on the weekend, so rides for Saturday night, all day Sunday, and Monday morning must be scheduled by 9am Friday morning.

c. If you’re being picked up from work, schedule the pick-up for when you’ll be off work and ready to go. Please allow us 10 minutes after that scheduled time to arrive. If you’re going to work, schedule your pick-up time at least 1 hour prior to the beginning of your shift. We may have to pick up other riders along the way so by allowing a little extra time, we can be sure to get you and all of our other riders to work on time.

2. Make sure to cancel your rides as soon as you know you don’t need them.

a. To cancel a ride, call or text (319) 981-1138 at least one hour prior to your scheduled pick-up. Leave your name and which ride you’re cancelling.

b. If you’re not at the scheduled location at the scheduled pick-up time, you’ll be charged a $6.00 No-Show fee. After two No-Shows, all of your rides will be cancelled. Before you can reschedule any future rides, you’ll need to come to our office and pay for the No-Shows and then you can schedule rides again.

3. Make sure you have a ticket, a check, or a money order to pay for your ride when we arrive.

a. For the safety of our passengers and drivers, we don’t accept cash on the bus. All riders must have a NTS ticket before boarding the bus or you can purchase a single ride, a 5-ride, or a 10-ride punch card with a check or money order.

b. There is a $15 returned check fee and ticket purchases are non-refundable.

4. Be ready when the bus arrives.

a. Please be ready 10 minutes prior to your scheduled pick up time. If we have cancellations we could be running a few minutes ahead of schedule. Our goal is to be on time for every pick up.

b. Due to traffic conditions, trains, or adverse weather, it’s possible that we could get behind schedule on occasion.  

NTS FAQ

When can I use NTS?

  • Monday 6:30 pm – 5:30 am Tuesday
  • Tuesday 6:30 pm – 5:30 am Wednesday
  • Wednesday 6:30 pm – 5:30 am Thursday
  • Thursday 6:30 pm – 5:30 am Friday
  • Friday 6:30 pm – 8:00 am Saturday
  • Saturday 5:00 pm – All day Sunday – 5:30 am Monday
NTS does not provide service on the following Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day            
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July              
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day          
  • Christmas Day
Where can I go on NTS?
NTS is a shared ride service that will pick you up and take you to or from work, school, or job training during our hours of operation.  The ride must start and end within the corporate limits of Cedar Rapids, Marion, or Hiawatha.  Depending on your pick-up and drop-off location we may pick you up or drop you off at the closest bus stop or another designated location.
 
How much does it cost?
The full fare on NTS is $6.00 for one ride. Tickets may be purchased at the following locations:
  • The NTS office:  819 5th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401. Payment options are: cash, checks, money orders, or debit cards.            
  • From the Driver: You can pay for one ride or purchase 5 or 10 ride passes, checks or money orders only.
What do I do if I don’t have my ticket at the time of my ride?
If you don’t have a ticket, a check, or money order for the amount of your ride you won’t be allowed to ride.  Payment is expected at the time you board the NTS vehicle.
 
Can NTS take me home if my co-worker has a ride scheduled when I get off work, and I need a ride too?
For the safety of our passengers and drivers, unscheduled riders are not allowed in NTS vehicles.
 
Can I change my pick up time with less than 24 hours notice?
NTS is a shared ride service and all rides are scheduled 24 hours in advance. By scheduling in advance we can plan routes for the drivers that enable us to pick up as many passengers as possible. By operating this way we’re able to keep costs down and get more people where they need to go.
 
What if the NTS bus doesn’t arrive at my scheduled pick-up time?
Please allow 10 minutes after your scheduled pick-up time for the bus to arrive. For example: If your scheduled pick-up time is 9:15 p.m. please be ready at 9:05 p.m., but wait until 9:25 p.m. for the bus to arrive. If it is more than 10 minutes after your scheduled pick-up time, please call or text 319-981-1138 and leave a message indicating your ride has not arrived to pick you up.  We check messages as frequently as we can. If possible, please leave your name and a call back number.
 
Can I check if I scheduled my ride?
If you want to check on the time of your scheduled pick-up, or verify that you’ve scheduled a pick-up, please call 952-649-6565.  Press option 1 when prompted. You will be asked to enter your rider ID number. 
 
Can I transport my child to and from daycare as a part of my ride?
NTS can drop your child off or pick your child up from childcare as part of the parent’s ride as long as the following conditions are met:  
  • The parent must be in the NTS vehicle at the time of pick up or drop off
  • The parent must provide a car seat if required.
  • There will be a charge of one additional ticket.
  • Your childcare provider must have the child ready to go when we arrive for pick up.
What if the rider is under 18 years of age?
NTS provides rides to work, school, and life skills classes. We were established to provide work related rides. We do not provide rides to school events such as sporting events, sports practice, or other extracurricular activities. However, if riders are under age 18 and at least age 16 and going to work, school or life skill class during our hours of operation, they are welcome to ride.  
 
Is there anything else I should know?
Eating, drinking, smoking, alcohol, and drug use are prohibited.  We will not pick up riders who are intoxicated. For more information call 319-363-1321, Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Fridays 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.