About the Station
Carbondale Station is much more than the replacement of an existing Amtrak passenger rail station in Downtown Carbondale, Illinois. Carbondale Station will connect multiple modes of transportation in a single, convenient location where transfers and connections can easily be made by patrons. These modes of transportation include:
- Amtrak passenger rail
- Greyhound Bus service
- JCMTD service
- Passenger vehicles
- RMTD service
- Saluki Express service
- SCT service
- Shawnee Mass Transit service
Carbondale Station will include space for retail services such as a café and market to support travelers arriving and departing from the station as well as bike sharing for students, tourists, and other guests and residents of the Carbondale area. Office space for Amtrak, Greyhound, JCMTD, RMTD, the SIU Welcome Center and other office space will be included in the new station. The transportation center is an integral component of the City of Carbondale Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2010, as well as an anchor in the current Downtown Master Plan and SIMPO’s 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan, adopted in September 2015.
Carbondale is the 20th most-populated city outside the Chicago metropolitan area. In addition, Carbondale is the most populous city in Southern Illinois outside the St. Louis Metro-East region. The City of Carbondale leads the project partnership composed of representatives from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), Downtown Carbondale business owners, residents, and local transit services to increase job opportunities, foster economic development, strengthen the community, provide a central location to connect all modes of transportation, and to serve as a gateway to Downtown Carbondale and the southern Illinois region.
Carbondale Station will be a key component of the redevelopment and revitalization of Downtown Carbondale as included in the Downtown Master Plan. Currently, an Amtrak passenger station is located in Downtown Carbondale and is the southern-most Amtrak station in Illinois. The Carbondale Amtrak station connects Carbondale with Chicago via the Illini and Saluki routes and connects Carbondale with New Orleans via the City of New Orleans. The Carbondale Station will serve as a central location for Amtrak, Greyhound Bus, Saluki
Express, RMTD service, passenger vehicles, and bicyclists. Carbondale Station will be the hub where local, regional, and national transportation alternatives meet to provide residents, students, business people, elderly people, and economically disadvantaged people with connectivity to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation alternatives that improve their quality of life.
Downtown Carbondale will be anchored by the transportation center and will be designed to encourage transit accessibility and reduced automobile usage. The vision of the Downtown Master Plan is to provide a resource, like the Carbondale Station, that City leaders and business owners can utilize to create a revitalized neighborhood via a mixed-use or transit oriented development (i.e. combination of retail, office, hotels, and residential units). A direct result of the Downtown Master Plan is a new hotel located directly across the street from the Carbondale Station that will be starting construction during Spring, 2016.
The Carbondale Station will revitalize and enhance Downtown Carbondale. Economic activity will be spurred and pedestrian, transit, and bicycle activity will be increased. Amtrak passenger service provides a cost-effective transportation choice for SIUC students and tourists visiting the greater Southern Illinois area by connecting Carbondale with Chicago, New Orleans, and areas throughout Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Mass Transit Districts
Carbondale Station will connect four local transit services at one central location. These transit services are an essential transportation mode in the Southern Illinois region. The mass transit districts enhance economic development and the quality of life through affordable and accessible transportation services. These non-profit mass transit districts provide service to elderly, economically disadvantaged, and disabled residents in some of the most remote areas and poorest counties in the state of Illinois.
By combining the mass transit services with Amtrak and Greyhound Bus services, Carbondale Station will connect the residents of Carbondale, Jackson County, and the Southern Illinois region with economic, educational, recreational, and healthcare services. The Carbondale Station will be an example of the possibility of the revitalization of an existing downtown area to a modern, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified intermodal facility.