Project Description

Carbondale Station Drawing

About the Southern Illinois Multimodal Station (SIMMS)

Southern Illinois Multimodal Station (SIMMS) is much more than replacing an existing Amtrak passenger rail station in Downtown Carbondale, Illinois. SIMMS will connect multiple modes of transportation in a single, convenient location where patrons can easily make transfers and connections. These modes of transportation include:

  • Amtrak passenger rail
  • Bicyclists
  • Greyhound Bus service
  • JCMTD service
  • Passenger vehicles
  • Pedestrians
  • RMTD service
  • Saluki Express service
  • SCT service
  • Shawnee Mass Transit service
  • Taxis

Southern Illinois Multimodal Station will include space for retail services such as a café and market to support travelers arriving and departing from the station and bike sharing for students, tourists, and other guests and residents of the Carbondale area. The new station will include office space for Amtrak, Greyhound, JCMTD, RMTD, the SIU Welcome Center, and other office spaces. The transportation center is an integral component of the City of Carbondale Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2010, and 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.

Transportation Hub

Southern Illinois Multimodal 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, the southernmost 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 be a central location for Amtrak, Greyhound Bus, and 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, older adults, and economically disadvantaged people with connectivity to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation alternatives that improve their quality of life.

Downtown Carbondale

The transportation center will anchor downtown Carbondale 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., a 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, starting construction during the Spring of 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 locations 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. Mass transit districts enhance economic development and the quality of life through affordable and accessible transportation services. These non-profit mass transit districts assist elderly, economically disadvantaged, and disabled residents in some of Illinois's most remote areas and poorest counties.

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 revitalizing an existing downtown area into a modern, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified intermodal facility.