CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) -There's a shake up in the works for John A. Logan College students who live in Carbondale and rely on the Saluki Express to get them to school.
The Saluki Express route that runs to Carterville from Carbondale on a daily basis is being shutdown as of August 2. That's got some John A. Logan students wondering how they're going to get to school for the Fall semester.
"I am devastated," said Ayn Downey of Carbondale. "Because they've known about this for awhile. I mean this is ridiculous. They alerted us when they cut the student loan. They alert us when everything else happens."
The college sent out an email to all the students affected by the change in bus service from Carbondale to Carterville.
The Saluki Express offered John A. Logan students a ride from Carbondale to Carterville for the past several years. That's because the SIU Automotive Technology program was housed in Carterville.
SIU students could use the bus to get back and forth to their classes.
But, in August the program is moving into their new SIU Transportation Center, located at the Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale. There will be no more need for SIU students to use the Carterville route.
"We were blessed for many years to have the Saluki Express coming to Carterville," said Steve O'Keefe at John A. Logan College. "They offered to continue to do the route. But it was going to be a substantial cost to us and the students."
So the college started looking around for other bus companies to help them get their students from Carbondale to Carterville.
"We have been meeting with Rides Mass Transit. And they already run three routes up and down the Illinois Route 13 corridor that stop by the college," said O'Keefe. " And they are currently working to add at least five routes to this, to help us and help the students."
There will be some schedule changes when the new bus service takes over, and some different departure and pickup points.
"It won't run on the exact same schedule that Saluki Express ran on. But it's going to run a pretty good schedule. At least five times a day. And we think that will be very beneficial for the students," O'Keefe said.
Once the new bus routes and schedule are set, the students at John A. Logan will be able to purchase their bus passes at the college's book store.
The new carrier is also going to open the college up to other potential students in Southern Illinois.
"Now people from Marion and West Frankfort and other towns in our district will have an opportunity to travel here for their education," said O'Keefe.
The new service is set to begin on August 2, just in time for the start of the Fall semester.