About the Southern Illinois Multi-Modal Station (SIMMS)
Southern Illinois Multi-Modal Station (SIMMS) is much more than the replacement of an existing Amtrak passenger rail station in Downtown Carbondale, Illinois. SIMMS 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 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.
Southern Illinois Multi-Modal 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 Multi-Modal Station will serve as a central location for Amtrak, Greyhound Bus, Saluki
Express, RMTD service, passenger vehicles, and bicyclists. The Multi-Modal 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 SIMMS that will be starting construction during Spring, 2016.
The Southern Illinois Multi-Modal 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
Southern Illinois Multi-Modal 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, SIMMS will connect the residents of Carbondale, Jackson County, and the Southern Illinois region with economic, educational, recreational, and healthcare services. SIMMS 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.