Saluki Express adds new bus route, QR codes for faster boarding


The Saluki Express pulls into the stop, Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, at the bus stop outside the Student Center. (Nick Knappenburger | @DeKnappenburger)

By Brandi Courtois, Staff Reporter

Over the summer Rides Mass Transit District took over the Saluki Express bus service and introduced a new bus route and QR codes for boarding.

Rides Mass Transit District is a public transit provider in 18 counties throughout Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.

“All [students] have to do is show their [registered QR code] when they get on the bus and they’re able to access all of the Rides Mass Transit routes not only [the] Saluki Express routes that are around campus and Carbondale,” Jeffrey Drake, public relations and marketing coordinator for Rides Mass Transit District, said.


Drake said the use of the QR code is an update to technology designed to streamline the boarding process.

“We don’t want people to have to wait an extended period of time to be able to load and unload,” Drake said.

Rides Mass Transit District will be using QR codes for boarding instead of the student ID’s previously used. This free code must be registered online and will be scanned from either a printout or the student’s phone during the boarding process.

(See more: Get your QR code)

Using TransLoc, students can track the bus in real time. The app is viewable on the web and is also available in both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store.

The TransLoc app has a 3.9 star rating on the Google Play Store and a 4.6 star rating on the Apple Store.

Students can also text the word SIUC and the bus stop number to 41411 to receive a text with the estimated arrival times for their stop.


(See more: TransLoc’s SIUC Interactive Map)

New this semester is the Thompson Point Direct route. The route runs seven days a week with the first run beginning at Logan Street and Park Street and the last run ending at the Health Center.

Drake said the Thompson Point Direct route was brought up in conversations with university officials with the closing of the towers.

The route is designed to be convenient for students trying to get to Lentz Dining Hall, Drake said.

Thompson Point Direct route runs Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday the bus runs from 10:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Staff reporter Brandi Courtois can be reached at or on Twitter at @CourtoisBrandi.

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