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New Website Launched for Northside-Southside Mass Transit Study

March 10, 2006 North City, Public Transit, South City 9 Comments

A new website has been launched for the Northside-Southside transit study. From the site’s homepage:

From January 2006 for the next 18 months, this is where you will find the latest information on planning MetroLink and other major transit improvements for the City of St. Louis, Missouri.

In reality the locally preferred routes selected a few years back were routes through the city to get to both north & south county. Plus, as I’ve said before, I don’t think light rail in the middle of the street is a good urban solution. Check out the site yourself and be sure to use the comment form!

The site is visually attractive and easy to use. However, it fails to include an RSS feed for updates. Those of us that use feeds to know when a site has been updated must now manually check the site. Not smart!

Click here to view the new site.

– Steve


Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. John Q says:

    Urban scorecard:

    St. Aloysius
    Old Post Office
    Doerring Mansion
    New Ballpark
    Grove Area

    Are we winning?

    Meanwhile, Steve, did you hear that the original developer for the School District greenhouse project in Carondelet/Boulevard Heights has backed away, and Vatterott is in line to take it over?

    It would be Vatterott’s southernmost foray into the City.

  2. Jeff says:

    I like the look of the web site at least. Looks more inviting than the cross county metro project site.

    Keep Cycling!

  3. wesselpj says:

    The Saint Louis Metro system runs on the trust system like Germany. Don’t you think we would be much better off with a turnstile system like NY, Chicago, every other rail ticket system? Your thoughts? Have you done any studies on this side of the system?

  4. JivecitySTL says:

    ^Yes, I have always thought that the honor system is stupid as hell. Everytime I take the train I see people abuse the system by hopping on without a ticket. It’s so easy to do. I have been riding the Metro regularly for years and can literally count on one hand how many times I’ve been asked to see my ticket. How hard would it be to put in some freakin’ turnstiles to prevent excess losses?!

    [REPLY – I have mixed views on this. I do wonder what percentage don’t pay but I like to think it is a small group. Making a secured system that meets ADA requirements is a challenge. Costs and stations would have to be even more elaborate. But, what I like best about those systems, is to have money on the card that you swipe as you enter and leave. So if you only travel a short distance you pay less than someone that goes the full length — that seems like a better approach. – SLP]

  5. Mill204 says:

    I don’t think there is a light rail system in the world that does not use the honor system. As Steve says, stations would have to be much more elaborate to accomodate the turnstiles. It would be very difficult to accomodate ticket systems given the size of Metrolink’s existing stations.

    Also, there is nothing that is precluding Metro from charging more for long-distance travel. Many large transit sytems, Portland included, have zones that radiate from the city center and with multiple zone travel being more expensive than single zone travel. I know Munich has such thing as a 10-strip ticket: a single ticket with 10 “strips” below and you simply cancel the number of strips you need for each trip you make, one strip per zone with a minumum 2 strips per trip.

    Back on subject, if the loop concept is preserved, I hope that they use Clark instead of Market.

    [REPLY – The systems in DC and NYC are both closed systems that require a ticket to enter. It works really well but requires much more equipment at each station. The decision was made long ago for the type we have and it would be pretty much impossible to go back and change now. – SLP]

  6. JivecitySTL says:

    Cleveland’s light rail system uses turnstiles. The difference between MetroLink in STL and most other light rail systems is that our system operates more like heavy rail, using separate rights of way that do not interact with street traffic. We have stations in subways, on elevated tracks, on bridges and in trenches. Most other light rail systems operate like streetcar systems, making it more practical to use the honor system. I think it would be much more effective to have a more reliable system in place (i.e. turnstiles) to regulate the fare system. Seriously, I think there are a LOT of people who ride for free in St. Louis.

  7. Jon says:

    ^ Jive has it right, as the difference between a DC and NYC heavyrail systems and the lightrail usualy makes the honor system more appropriate for light rail. But in the St. Louis case, it is much more like a heavy rail system.

    As for riding free, all I can say is that of the friends I know who ride it, I know some who have purchased a ticket once and then used it as the “stub” for a long while after. I really think that the people not paying is alot more than you speculate.

  8. jefferson says:

    If you look at some of the proposed routes on earlier maps, there are several stops (3-4) along N. Florissant for the northside line. It seems like people want Metrolink to be both suburban commuter line and intracity streetcar; at which point it really doesnÂ’t serve either purpose fully. This is another reason I like a streetcar solution in some areas. A streetcar to the near northside could take care of many of the smaller stops, with Metrolink having maybe one stop in the area, allowing it to concentrate on its main goal of moving people quickly over large distances.

  9. Joe Frank says:

    I agree that fare enforcement/inspection is inconsistent on MetroLink. That said, I’ve had mine checked sometimes twice during a single trip!

    I would be VERY much opposed to a pay-by-distance system on Metro. Think about how many reverse commuters rely on public transit. They had a de facto “pay to go further” policy when the transfer was single-use-only. If you needed to take three buses to get somewhere, you were supposed to pay another fare.

    Thankfully, the transfer system is now two-hours, period, regardless of direction of travel, etc. Much more sensible. Nevertheless, unless and until St. Louis has more than one or two MetroLink lines, I don’t see pay-by-distance as viable. Buses are the main way to get anywhere outside the central corridor inside the City.

    I find it annoying that in Madison County, you pay more to go from Granite City to Edwardsville than to just shuttle around within Edwardsville on MCT.

    Don’t bus riders pay enough for distance by enduring long bus rides, irate drivers, long transfer waits, and late buses?

    There’s already a 10-cent premium charged for MetroLink vs MetroBus. I guess I don’t mind that. I am still annoyed at the $3 fare for coming from the airport. Why doesn’t the CVC protest against that? Do they only care about visitors coming by taxicab?


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