Schedule a Ride

To Schedule a Ride Call:

Riders must call the NCAT Reservation Center at 833-433-6228 a minimum of one day in advance to schedule transportation. NCAT will not take reservations past 10:00 a.m. the day before service is requested. A rider may only schedule three (3) one way trips or two (2) round trip rides in one day unless there is a special circumstance at which time a supervisor will make a determination. A reservation operator is available to schedule a ride Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm and NCAT does not take same-day reservations (See ride exceptions).

Hours of Operation

Transportation is available Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:30 pm with the exception of observed holidays.  These include: New Year’s Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve. In the case of inclement weather, North Central Area Transit System will not transport to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers. Listen to local media, check for updates on this website or NCAT’s Facebook page for closure information.

Destinations OUT of the NCAT Service Area
  • Granville
  • Hennepin
  • Mark
  • Morris
  • Newark
  • Princeton
  • DeKalb
  • Sandwich
  • Somonauk
  • Yorkville
  • Toluca

*Exceptions to NCAT destinations and days could be made due to unforeseen circumstances, space availability, time availability or other similar situation. Any decision will be made by the system providers.


When making a reservation, please have the following information ready:

  • Your name, home address, date of birth, and phone number.
  • The address where you will be picked up and dropped off, including any physicians name or location.
  • Date of your trip, the time you would like to be picked up, and time of your return trip.
  • If taking a Medicaid trip, please have your RTN number available.

Riders should note that NCAT makes every attempt to schedule as many rides at one time and the rider should be aware that they may not be the only rider aboard the bus at any given time which may increase the time riders will be on the bus. The Reservation Center reserves the right to alter a rider’s pick-up and drop-off time to accommodate ALL riders in ALL locations and to keep NCAT vehicles and the system as efficient and effective as possible for the viability of the transit system.

Fare Payment

Payment of fares to the drivers is CASH ONLY and the driver will NOT MAKE CHANGE. Any overpayment will be considered a donation to the NCAT System. In addition, NCAT and its drivers WILL NOT ACCEPT CHECKS as payment for fares.

Pick-up and Return Rides

Riders should understand that due to the system scheduling multiple rides for a bus, they must have some flexibility in their pick-up and drop-off times as NCAT is a public transit system. It is NCAT System policy that riders need to be ready for their ride 15 MINUTES before their scheduled pick up time. Riders should receive a reminder phone call the day before indicating what the scheduled pick-up time will be for their ride. Riders who are prompt help us provide better and faster service. Pick-up and drop-off destination points must make space and location accommodations for the NCAT vehicle to park and remain within the vision of the driver. NCAT vehicles CANNOT pull into driveways or other small areas due to the size of the NCAT vehicles.

Drive Wait Time & Stop Conditions

Upon arrival, the driver will honk the horn (if necessary) to notify the rider of their presence. NCAT Policy allows the driver to pick up a rider 15 minutes before or 15 minutes after arriving for the rider’s scheduled pick-up time. Riders need to be aware that the driver will wait for five (5) minutes past the scheduled pick up time and then will depart for their next scheduled appointment. At this point, the rider is considered a “noshow” AND is responsible for the fare (See the “No-Show” Policy). Since NCAT vehicles are scheduled for other rides and routed for the entire day, the NCAT driver WILL NOT return for you. Passengers are responsible for maintaining a safe walkway unencumbered by obstacles such as snow, ice, and/or other debris that will allow the driver to safely board the rider onto the vehicle. Drivers are NOT ALLOWED to cross the threshold of a passenger’s residence or destination. Again, NCAT is a demand-response, curb-to-curb service under the ADA Compliance with door-to-door service with reasonable accommodations.

Non-Scheduled Rides

Due to liability issues, drivers are NOT ALLOWED to make additional stops other than the one the rider has made with the Reservation Center. Riders-please DO NOT ASK the driver if they would make an additional stop along the way to your scheduled destination.

Rider Age Requirement

A rider must be sixteen (16) years of age to ride an NCAT vehicle without adult supervision. Children under the age of twelve (12) can ride free with a paid adult. Children eight (8) and under must be secured in a safety seat that should be provided by the rider. Any request to modify this policy must be made in writing to the Transit Director. Requests should be sent to:

City of Ottawa
1784 Chessie Lane
Ottawa, Illinois 61350

It is the policy of the North Central Area Transit system to provide transportation in a safe and timely manner for ALL transit riders. The information on this site is made available to all passengers regarding policies and operations of the transit system. The guidelines are designed to clarify the duties and responsibilities of the passengers, the drivers, and other transit employees. They are in place to promote safety, efficiency, effectiveness, and understanding of the parameters and limitations of the NCAT Transit System.