March 25, 2005

3 million riders Campus bus service reaches milestone

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Saluki Express bus service at Southern Illinois University Carbondale passed a milestone this week with its 3 millionth rider.

It took the service, which started in fall 1995, nearly seven years to reach 2 million riders.

“Ridership is increasing as we refine the routes and create stops at locations the students want to go,” said Jeffrey M. Duke, assistant director of the SIUC Student Center. “Running on time really helps, too.”

The service recorded its highest ridership in the 2003-04 school year with 326,403 passengers – an increase of 8.7 percent over the previous year. Duke said ridership is running 20,000 passengers ahead of last year.

Saluki Express has nine routes, including the campus shuttle that runs from the Arena parking lot every 20 minutes. Duke noted the shuttle represents a “collaborative effort” with the Parking Division, which funds the shuttle service.

“We’re trying to cut down on the traffic on campus, we’re trying to cut down on the congestion,” he said.

Student fees, fare revenues and bus pass sales fund the bus service. Students ride for free with a valid ID.

A complete schedule of routes and stops is available at