• SIU’s Saluki Express changing to enhance rider safety

    May 01, 2019

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — The days of possibly having to run to catch the bus will soon be gone for riders of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Saluki Express.

    To enhance rider safety, beginning this summer, the bus will come to a complete halt each and every time at all designated stops, rather than just making “soft stops” if no rider is waiting.

    “We’re making the change for safety reasons,” Tena Bennett, director of the Student Center, said. “It will lessen the occurrences of people chasing a bus because they were not at the stop and a bus rolled by. As of this summer, each bus will stop at every bus stop, open the doors and see if anyone is at or near the stop to get on.”

    Change will affect routes and timeliness

    Another goal of the change is to increase the punctuality of the buses, Bennett said.

    In conjunction with the switch to “hard bus stops,” a few current stops located in close proximity and easy walking distance to other sites will be eliminated. With fewer stops and a more rigid schedule, the buses should be operating on a more regular schedule.

    Not just for students

    Anyone can ride the Saluki Express buses. Students who have paid fees can visit the website and download a QR code associated with their Dawg Tag number and then scan the code in order to ride the bus for free.

    Everyone else may purchase bus passes from Rides Mass Transit District(RMTD), which operates the buses for SIU under terms of an intergovernmental agreement. Or, just pay $1 per person when you hop on the bus.

    Rides to many places

    Saluki Express runs routes around campus and Carbondale and also operates the Night Safety Transit service and offers services to students with paratransit needs. In addition, students can enjoy free rides to St. Louis, Evansville, Indiana, and numerous other local and regional sites serviced by RMTD. Community riders can purchase passes for these locales.

    Track the buses

    Saluki Express is connected to Transloc, which allows riders to track the buses on their cellphones and computers. Access the service online or through the Transloc Rider app, available on both Apple and Android platforms.  

    To learn more

    For additional details about Saluki Express and the changing routes, visit the website, or contact RMTD at 618/253-8761 or via the online form.