By Gus Bode

Kelcie Keith

Daily Egyptian



Deck: Need a ride? Get On Board the Saluki Express!

A variety of transportation services are offered in Carbondale, but the most popular for students at SIUC is the Saluki Express mass transit system. The Saluki Express is very convenient for students and can help students save money on gas or transport those who don’t own a car. It could be the answer to parking and traffic problems as well.

Nathan Boucher, a former student at SIUC and frequent passenger on the Saluki Express, said he took advantage of the system as a student, but he noticed many others did not.

“It’s a very underutilized system that can really help you get around when you aren’t able to have a car in college,” Boucher said. “They have a lot of convenient stops and come almost every half hour to most locations. It’s free for students so I think everyone should capitalize on such a good thing, especially with campus parking being such a hassle.”

Not only are students encouraged to get on board, but faculty and staff, as well as the Carbondale community. The bus can transport passengers to school, work, or other popular destinations such as the University Mall, Illinois Avenue and Murdale Shopping Center. The greatest advantage for SIUC students is that they can ride free, as long as they have a valid SIUC student ID. There are bus passes for unlimited rides available at the Business Office on the second floor of the Student Center as well.

According to the SIUC Student Center website, fall, spring and summer passes can be purchased. It costs $50 for SIUC faculty ad general public, $47 for CESL students and $40 for spouses and children of students.

Saluki Express offers monthly passes as well, which are $17 per month for everyone. It’s important to know that the monthly passes are only valid for the designated month, not for 30 days from the date of purchase. The regular fare for non-pass holders is $1, exact change only and children under five years old can ride free when accompanied by an adult.


According to the Student Center website, fall, spring and summer passes are valid from the first day of class of the designated term until, which doesn’t include the first day of class of the next term.

All passes can be purchased prior to or during the respective period.  A helpful tip when riding the Saluki Express is to arrive a few minutes early at your bus stop. Although Saluki Express drivers make every effort to be on schedule, arriving early will help ensure that buses are not missed. It’s important for passengers to check the bus schedule for specific arrival and departure times because certain routes include a brief waiting period.

The Saluki Express offers 11 routes that operate seven days a week, while school is in session, and a break route that operates while school is not in session. Full service begins two days prior to the start of each academic term. The only days during break periods that the route will not run are on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. During University holidays and vacation periods, the Saluki Express will operate a specially designed break route and will be the only route in operation during these times. For a full listing of all of the Saluki Express routes, bus stop locations, arrival and departure times, and additional details, please visit or contact the Saluki Express Office at 618-453-5749.