Work underway to transform Amtrak station into new Southern Illinois Multimodal Station
CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Work is underway to transform Carbondale’s Amtrak station into a new travel hub that city leaders say will benefit anyone who uses public transit.
The original Amtrak station was built more than 40 years ago.
Crews began tearing down existing buildings on South Illinois Avenue to make room for the Southern Illinois Multimodal Station. The former Carbondale Cycle building was torn down.
The station will house Amtrak and other transit agencies including Rides Mass Transit.
Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams said travelers will see a big difference.
“Being able to locate all of those transit agencies in addition to Jackson County Mass Transit, our Saluki express here, we’ll be able to move towards a fixed route service regionally. So, what’s that’s going to do for people is just make the system more efficient and more reliable,” said Williams.
According to Williams, the cost of the new station will be around $23M, with $21M coming from federal grants and the city chipping in $2M of its own money.
Rides Mass Transit district leaders say the new transportation hub will greatly improve transportation across southern Illinois.
“The multi-modal center will help the residents of southern Illinois streamline their trips, by acting as a hub being served by multiple transit providers. This will be especially helpful when riders need to transfer from one transit provider to another. Due to southern Illinois being predominantly rural and geographically spread out, transferring from one transit provider to another can create a barrier making it more difficult for riders to travel too, and explore surrounding counties,” said Adam Lach, CEO of Rides Mass Transit
Lach goes on to say this new hub will provide transportation to other points of travel throughout the state.
“The new multimodal center providing a central connection point to access all transit providers will eliminate this barrier. The center will not only help streamline local transportation throughout southern Illinois, but also make it easier for riders to access long distance transportation such as Amtrack, Greyhound and Marion Airport,” Lach added.
According to Williams, the multimodal station will also have space designated for workforce development. He said Man-Tra-Con will have space in the building, making it easier for people to grow their work skills.
The project is expected to take around 18 months to complete. City leaders hope to have it open in 2025.
There will be an official groundbreaking for the multimodal station on June 18.
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