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Southwestern Illinois - Ideal Location, Superior Transportation
Southwestern Illinois has a modern, fully integrated transportation system, providing economical and efficient access to land, air, water and rail. The area also features thousands of acres of competitively priced land located within the St. Louis region's circumferential interstate loop. These advantages have turned Southwestern Illinois into a center for transportation and distribution companies in the fast-growing logistics industry. The area's easy access to markets, superior intermodal transportation system and its abundant land have attracted a variety of consumer product companies, including Dial Corporation, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and Hershey.
Highway Transportation in Southwestern Illinois
Madison and St. Clair counties offer 122 miles of interstate highway including I-70, I-55 and I-64. These three major interstates are linked via I-255/270, which forms the St. Louis metropolitan circumferential loop. They are an integral part of the east-west and north-south national interstate road network, which converges in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Water Transportation in Southwestern Illinois
The U.S. Inland Waterways System connects Southwestern Illinois with industrial centers in 15 states located along the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois and Tennessee Rivers and with the Great Lakes of Canada and the Gulf of Mexico. As the most northern ice-free port on the Mississippi River system, the St. Louis region can provide 12-month downriver shipping services.
Rail Transportation in Southwestern Illinois
Southwestern Illinois, as part of the bi-state St. Louis region, is one of the largest rail centers in the United States. The region handles approximately 10,000 rail cars per day and contains more than 30 rail yard facilities. The region is served by nine trunk-line railroads, with more than 40 rail lines radiating to all parts of North America. Connections are provided by three switching and transfer railroads.
Air Transportation in Southwestern Illinois
Southwestern Illinois is currently served by MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in St. Clair County and two regional airports - St. Louis Regional in Madison County and St. Louis Downtown Airport in St. Clair County. These three facilities work in concert with nearby Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to provide a range of passenger and air cargo services. MidAmerica is expected to play a larger role in the latter in the coming years since earning the designation necessary to accept international air cargo shipments in early 2007.
Public Transportation in Southwestern Illinois
Transit services in Southwestern Illinois are provided by Metro, St. Clair County Transit District and Madison County Transit (MCT) District.
Metro, the bi-state region's primary transit provider, operates 19 MetroBus routes throughout St. Clair County for the St. Clair County Transit District. Metro's transportation system also includes the St. Louis region's light rail system, known as MetroLink, which extends into Southwestern Illinois and provides St. Clair County residents with easy, affordable access to downtown St. Louis and a host of regional attractions. MetroLink stretches all the way from Lambert St. Louis International Airport to Scott Air Force Base and includes 11 stations in St. Clair County alone.
Madison County Transit operates a fixed-route bus service within and between different communities in Madison County, connections to MetroLink and express weekday commuter service directly to and from downtown St. Louis. For elderly and disabled residents who are unable to use the fixed-route buses, MCT provides complementary paratransit bus service. MCT is also responsible for the construction and maintenance of more than 85 miles of trails in Madison County that comprise the MCT trails bikeway system, as well as overseeing RideFinders, the St. Louis region's FREE carpooling and vanpooling program.
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