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Riding the Bus, Changing Perspectives

December 20, 2007 Public Transit, STL Region, Transportation 31 Comments

This morning I had a meeting attend at the St. Louis Bread Company (Panera to everyone outside St. Louis) on Delmar in the Loop area. I also have a dangerously low back tire on my scooter than needs to be replaced. What to do?

I actually had two good choices, MetroLink (light rail) or MetroBus. Given that I can see from my balcony the #97 bus as it passes along Washington Ave and the fact it would drop me off across the street from my destination it was the winner between the two. Often I would not mind a walk to the Union Station MetroLink stop and then a walk to the Bread Co from the Delmar MetroLink stop but when it is cold and rainy and you’ve got to be there by 8:30am you look for quicker ways to get there. In this case, a bus on city streets was going to be faster overall — roughly 45 minutes.

On my scooter, in this weather but with a good back tire, I’d get there in about a half hour. Fifteen to twenty minutes in good weather. So it was going to take me a bit longer, but my choices were really limited. I could have gotten the tire aired up and hoped that it didn’t deflate midway. A cap would have been way too expensive. Others at the meeting were coming from other directions and I didn’t have their numbers anyway. So this morning I simply got up when necessary and made my way over to the bus stop.

The bus arrived on time, just past 7:30am. Of the twenty I was only the second white person, everyone else was black. I say that simply as a statement of fact. Shortly after the young white kid (maybe 20) got off the bus. Between downtown and the loop numerous folks got on and off, all black, and I was the sole white person.
Personally, I think it is good for non-minorities to be in places where they are suddenly the minority. For the male business person to be among a group of businesswomen, the college student to be among only seniors, and for the white guy to be on a bus where everyone else is black.

Sitting there, on the bus, I thought about what I was going to write today. Ah, this bus trip! But I can’t just talk about bus stops and such. Race, yeah that should be a good topic.

I think to many whites we see a bus full of non-whites, often black. And many people, be they black, white or any other, see bus riders as being poor. But this morning I looked deeper, closer past the color of skin or social class. What did I see?

Today I saw many people, just like me, simply going about their daily lives. They too, probably lacked a car. People were heading to work, or in the case of the VA hospital at Delmar and Grand, getting off work. The driver seemed to know many riders, likely the regulars. If we can all learn to get past issues of race and class, and simply see others as human, public transit and so much of our public lives will be improved.

As we all know by now, in two weeks I-64/Hwy 40 will be taken out of service for two years. For many, I think MetroBus is viable choice. Yes, it will take you longer to get from A to B (or to A-B). You know what, so will being stuck in your car on Manchester Road! Interestingly, the more people use the bus and/or light rail the better the roads will be for those who are driving. Those single occupancy cars consume a considerable amount of space when stored all day and when packed onto arterial roads.

Learn the schedule(s). Bring your iPod and some reading. At the very least, give it a try. While you are doing so, leave any pre-conceptions about the bus and who rides it back at the curb.


Currently there are "31 comments" on this Article:

  1. Curtis says:

    Excellent post. I’ve learned that myself in riding the bus the last year. Growing up in rural Missouri it took me a while to get over an initial fear of riding the bus. Now, you couldn’t pay me enough to work someplace that would require me to buy a car and drive to work again (well, maybe you could, but you wouldn’t want to I’m sure).

    I’m in that situation quite often myself and it’s become quite ordinary. I’ve gotten to know many of the regulars on my bus as well. The regular driver’s recognize me and I even had one stop and honk the horn at me one evening when I was engrossed in my MP3 player and didn’t notice them pull up!

    And let’s not forget all the great reading I’ve gotten done thanks to the bus and the city library system! Needless to say, we have very rarely missed having the second car in the family.

  2. Chris says:

    This is a bit off topic, but since you mentioned the 40 closure I wonder if Metro has prepared for the higher demand that I would suspect (hope) occurs because of the higher volumes of traffic and hopefully more public transit commuters. If the demand is anything like it is after a sporting event, Metrolink is screwed because they’re capacity and frequency are so low (at least at these peak times). I’ve seen people nearly get into physical altercation (always verbal) over blocking the doors to not allow more riders to enter the car. I often wonder who these people think they are… maybe more security or an additional Metro employee is necessary to conduct the chaos??? Sorry to digress…

  3. Court says:

    From their website, here’s information on when Metro will be giving out the new 2008 schedule books for free:


    They are normally $3.

    I don’t have a car either, and also enjoy taking the bus. It’s surprisingly social.

  4. Megan says:

    I’d like to report a robbery I experienced (stealing over $150) that took place around 5PM on Monday, December 10, 2007 while riding the good St. mass transit system you speak about. As I was boarding the #70 Grand Bus (#3259) the small portable XM satellite radio I had in my hand at my side, was grabbed out of my hand by a young black teenager. I reported it to the bus driver who did offer to call the cops. Not feeling safe waiting for the cops I advised the bus driver that I would call the police when I got home, which I did. Unfortunately I live in the Third District and the crime took place in the Ninth District.

    What this note is about is the lack of security around certain bus stops. Every time I catch the Grand Bus after work it is crowded and people just push to get onto the bus. It is during this pushing and shoving to get onto the bus that provides the criminal element an opportunity to steal from hard working people. There is NO security AT THE BUS STOP on Grand. There may be security (rent a cops) on the METROLINK platform but NOTHING at the bus stop. Now this stop is NOTORIOUS for having young kids hanging out at all hours. It is not safe. If anything happens at the bus stop which is stories above the metrolink platform, there is no one around to assist. Since this is a highly utilized stop I think it would serve the PAYING public and WORKING people who work hard for their stuff to have a security “guard” stationed at the bus stop level. Maybe it would scare off some of the thug kids that make their home at the bus stops.

    I’ve made the decision that on those days when I must take the bus, which will be fewer and more far between now, I will take a bus to another, hopefully safer Metrolink and bus stop.

    I’ve used the bus system for quite some time. In my years of taking the #91 Olive bus or #97 Delmar bus and waiting at the Delmar station; I’ve not had the problems I’ve had at the Grand stop.

    People will not take public transit if there is a feeling that they are not safe. Providing a security guard, even a rent a cop, lends some sense of safety. At the very least a security guard can detain someone until the real police arrive.

  5. ex-stl says:

    Megan, there was an interesting article a number of years ago regarding personal safety in public places. The reporter, a woman, was mugged while jogging in a fairly popular park (not STL). A few weeks later she encountered the guy and asked frankly why he targeted her. His answer was that she had her headphones on and was distracted until he was already on her.

    I’m not blaming the victim, but if you can increase the awareness of your surroundings, you may want to consider it.

  6. Joe Frank says:

    I was thinking the same thing “ex-stl” said when I saw the postings from Curtis and from Megan.

    I agree the #70 Grand bus stop on the viaduct high above MetroLink is dirty, crowded at all hours, and not particularly safe. When I used to ride the Grand bus, several times I saw teenagers get into fistfights IN THE STREET IN FRONT OF THE BUS!

    Anyway, you do have to be street-smart. I’ve learned, the hard way, that my own neighborhood is not a particularly safe place to walk to and from the bus. So, although I love public transit, a couple months ago started driving the 3.5 miles up Gravois to work. (Admittedly, this really happened because my wife got a new car so I got the old clunker.) I try to avoid the interstates as much as possible, so I can at least pretend I’m still experiencing the city, but of course it’s still not like getting out there and walking. And I do park on the street more than a 1/2 block from the house — not that I have much choice in that regard. Given that parking at my work is, for the time being, free and indoors, and my job requires me both to visit clients all over the metro area, occasionally give seminars in St. Charles County where transit is non-existent and walking is (outside Old Town) not pleasant, I justify driving for now. Plus my employer does compensate me about 50 cents per mile for that travel when it’s necessary for business reasons, and my job does require me to carry a very expensive cell phone/e-mail device that I was never very comfortable taking on the bus.

    Rarely do I have problems at bus stops, except that one on Grand. Civic Center MetroBus center is usually pretty safe; and there’s often a Metro supervisor parked there which probably helps. But I agree there’s a huge gulf in the security provided on buses vs. on MetroLink, and many bus stops are not particularly safe. Again, you just have to be as smart as you can and as cautious as you can. While, given the overall crime rate citywide, you can never 100% avoid those so-called “crimes of opportunity”, at least if you try to be alert and cautious, you can reduce your chances.

    At least that’s my advice. Granted, as I said above, I’ve chickened out, so maybe I’m not the best person to be giving advice.

    Oh, and the Delmar is a pretty good route, I think. It comes mostly on-time, pretty frequently, and it’s not quite as crazy standing-room-only as the Grand or Kingshighway can be at times. I used to ride it a lot, of course when I was in high school at Delmar and Kingshighway; and even in college sometimes I’d shop at the now-shuttered Schnucks store there.

  7. tobehonest says:

    I read this blog pretty much everyday for the past few months. Never commented before but I felt that I needed to say something.

    Megan, I don’t see why you felt the need to mention that the kid who stole from you was a “young lack male”. What does that have to do with anything? I could see you saying that he was a young teenager but why do you need to mention his race. White kids steal just as much if not more than black kids. I know that for a fact.

    If you have a problem with “young black male teens” then you need to move out to south county or fenton.

  8. Southside Tim says:

    re: tobehonest, you sir are denying reality…………if you care to trash this young women i say you have a greater issue with steve’s initial post. she was stating the specifics of her incident. one of which was who was the perp so the next guy can be ware.

  9. Nick Kasoff says:

    Tobehonest … let’s be honest: If you get mugged on the Metro, chances are extremely small that the perp was a white female from Chesterfield. And saying so doesn’t make somebody a racist. I live in a racially mixed area, I get along great with people of all colors, but it takes no genius to recognize that there ain’t no white ganstas around here.

    I use transit when I can – since I work at home, and my occasional client visits are rarely within Metro’s real service area, it about 20 times a year – and have no problem with the wide range of people on the trains and buses. I didn’t even freak out when a kid (young, black, male) came up to me, asked me if I listened to rap, then popped his headphones on my head so I could hear his rap group. Strange behavior, a bit unhygienic, but what the heck. I did have one bad experience, though – a couple of years ago, a group of young black males boarded the train at Wellston station, and demanded to “borrow” my cell phone. When I declined, one of them said, “You’d better give it up man, I’ve got a gun.” I rose to the challenge, and told him to bring it out and let’s see what he can do.

  10. tobehonest says:

    Southside Tim:
    FYI, I would appreciate you NOT calling me sir. I am a female.

    I wasn’t trying to trash her. I just didn’t think the race of the person who mugged her really mattered. All types of people steal. Does it matter if the person was young and Black? Uh…NO!
    I thought steve’s post was supposed to be about looking pass race not pointing it out.

    Like I said, if she has a problem with young,black males then she should move out to the burbs where she will see much less of them.

  11. tobehonest says:

    Nick Kasoff:
    So if we all know that there are no “white gangstas” over here then why does anyone need to state if the person commiting the crime is black or white? Are you saying that we should just automatically assume the person is black?

  12. southside tim says:

    RE: tobehonest: Madame, in my opinion you are not. Secondly your superior attitude that Megan should flee to some great unwashed suburbland ring hollow and false. She is merely stating there are risks associated with the hoods at the Grand stop and her particular hood was black, male and young.

  13. dude says:

    Good post Steve. Posts that get lots of comments are always the most productive/entertaining? and “hot” button issues get lots of comments and race is a reliable “hot” topic. I guess the point of the post is the bus is majority black (why is that) and will more white people use the bus because of 40 construction and when the construction is over will they remain as patrons of the bus? I’m thinking yes then no. Why is the bus majority black? My observation: For black people I have to think police racial profiling has got to be a discouragement from driving their own car places.
    Back to the bus though. I think the scale is ‘friendliness’ on one end and ‘privacy’ on the other and it depends what you value. People don’t ride the bus to make new friends but to get from point a to b. Not all the time, but for myself, sometimes I just wish not to be bothered (or robbed). The car gives you more privacy. A place to smoke, talk loudly on the phone, pick your nose… The bus I’ll admit has great benefits like a chance to get a read or light snooze in and free yourself from road rage. There’s more comradery on the bus then out on the interstate. Race I don’t think is the only motivation to ride or not ride city buses. It sounds like you didn’t have a Jehovah’s Witness try to convert on your ride today. Nor did you get your ipod “jacked.” After all education and efforts, I think you end up with Victor Frankl’s quote, “there are 2 races of people, the decent and the indecent.” A friend of mine, a week ago had a guy try to steal his bicycle off the rack on the front of the bus. That’s shameless. The bus driver banged on the horn and the guy ran off. My friend was busy reading a book and the young girl next to him said, “somebody tried to jack your bicycle.”
    I can’t resist a comment on tobehonest post’s. I doubt you say who you say you are. It comes across as a cute theater trick. A different handle like a Maya or Rosa would be more convincing.
    Duckworth and NorthSide Neighbor, you guys are smart and usually good for an anecdote. I’d like to hear from you.

  14. kb0tnv says:

    I road the bus to my dentist today and then road it to work (metrolink too). All worked out well. I would have bicycled to both places but it was rainy ;0) So maybe tomorrow I will finally bicycle this week! I heard a fellow co-worker mention that he was going to leave for home and “fight” traffic. Guess there is a big battle? My only goal is to get home in about an hour. I have a plan A route and a B route if my bus doesn’t make it to my connecting route. There is a totally different outlook when you don’t use a car for transportation. I used to be a little more “self concious” about my being the only “white” guy too. But I have gotten over it and have seen many more people of my race and other races use the bus. Latino’s and some asians as well. I think it is the fear of not being around people that all look the same. I have heard about the Grand Station Safety / Security Issues. I would suggest that victims contact Metro and / or authorities. Until enough people cry there usually isn’t anything done. If need be get the press involved. Media attention usually gets more “heat” turned on the situation.

    Happy Holidays and safe travels for all! (cars, bikes, walkers, bus, rail etc…)!

  15. M says:

    I ride the bus every day. Have done so for almost two years. I’ve never had any problems, crime, schedule or otherwise. Just like urban living, I am sure there are bad experiences and great ones, but if for any reason I had to quit taking the bus to work I would sorely miss it. It is indeed an experience and a much more stress-free way to commute.

  16. dude says:

    This morning if you took the Delmar bus running west from downtown around 8 am you went by the crime/accident? scene of the 18 year old who shot himself on Sam Shepard I think. The Post said he was showing off his “piece” to his homies on the walk to school and it went off and hit both legs being the bullet went through 1 leg and ended up in the other. This all happened right about the time and place you were riding.

  17. ex-stl says:

    wow. this one sorta exploded. let’s face it – race and class will always be hot topics.

    Call me out on this theory, but I think STL has enough of the North to not really understand Blacks (and their historical/cultural experiences) and enough of the South to not accept outside of a personal connection. meaning that thoughts and deeds are separate and I’ve met deeply racist people who none the less watch out for their neighbors, regardless.

    dude: the bus is rarely a choice, with reluctant and/or absent parents I became acquainted with the “Cross-County” Hanley line in the early 80’s to Mark Twain Summer Inst. for Mandarin classes (close html tag for snottiness) – but only when I overslept the carpool and yes at 15 it was my first try at transit and I was the only white boy – dressed for Clayton no less.

    Kb – I kinda agree, in that I prefer seeing an assortment of people that don’t always look like me. after enough time it’s weird to live in a homogenous place. (although I do have to say I don’t care for a bag of live fish slapping my calf)

    BTW Nick, I’ve met some horrible people from Chesterfield…but nice yards…

  18. Jim Zavist says:

    I wanted to wait to comment see which path the comments took . . . these are my perspectives. One, crime is an urban problem, not a transit problem, and we’re number one. You can get mugged or shot on your front porch, walking down the street, jogging in a park, parking at the mall or waiting for a bus. We can’t afford to have armed security every 100′, but both the police and Metro are aware of the problem areas and are working to address them.
    There are three major groups of transit riders, the transit dependent (poor, can’t or choose not to drive), daily commuters (don’t want to pay to park and/or to fight rush-hour traffic) and special-event-goers (to pro sports, enertainment, events at the convention center, etc.). Due to limited funding, Metro’s bus services skew more heavily to serving the transit-dependent, with more local bus routes (with frequent stops in poorer parts of town) and fewer express and demand-responsive services more appropriate for suburban areas and casual users.
    The unfortunate reality is that being poor in St. Louis many times equals being African American. Blame circumstance, blame the school system, blame racism, blame the acceptance of teen pregnancy and single motherhood, blame white flight, but many parts of town are predominantly both poor and black and public transit ridership will reflect that reality. In contrast, in southwest city, the ethnic makeup on the bus reflects the local demographics, with fewer blacks and more whites.
    Having used public transit for years, in Louisville, Chicago, Boulder, Denver and St. Louis, the people on the bus rarely bother me. Yes, some are smelly and some are scary looking, but I’ve never personally experienced a criminal act. The most unpleasant situation I’ve ever faced was a ±500 pound white woman who wanted to “share” my seat. My biggest challenges are the schedules and the weather. Like Steve, spending an extra 15 or 20 minutes each way is tolerable on an occassional basis, but having to do that every day becomes a time versus money trade-off. That, and when the weather is like it is now, hopping in my car, even if it requires scraping off the frost, beats standing at a bus stop and freezing in the drizzle, and waiting for a trip that I know will take 2-3 times longer than just driving myself.
    Based on my limited experiences here, Metro buses and their operators are comparable to those in other cities. They’re generally on schedule, the buses are clean, the A/C or heat is usually working, and the drivers will answer questions and are even sometimes very friendly. Are there problems? Yes, buses break down, problems occur, and flexible schedule on my/your part is an asset. (The same applies to one’s own personal transportation, as well.) The biggest hurdle, especially in the white community, is the perception, among too many, that the local bus is for “other people”, specifically blacks. Until we get past that perception, bus service will continue to be problematic in more-affluent (and yes, “white”) parts of town. It takes more riders to generate more-frequent (and convenient) service. It’s going to take more tax money, as well.
    Bottom line, Metro does a good job with their bus service, given their resources. I agree with the bulk of Steve’s observations, that many of Metro’s “problems” have less to do with the system itself (in many cases it can provide a viable alternative IF you go to the effort of figuring it out, and it ain’t that hard with internet access) and a lot more with preconceptions, especially a few too many that are based on race . . .

  19. john says:

    Having ridden transit buses daily for over 25 years, a number of conditions are integral in creating a useful system. In no particular order: 1. Frequency, 2. Reliability, 3. Connectivity, 4. Price, 5. Cleanliness, 6. Density, 7. Urbanity, 8. Timely, and quite important is 9. High cost of alternatives which means expensive auto parking and toll roads. Security is usually a product of ridership levels but pickpocketers can prosper on crowded buses if the riders are naive.
    – –
    The best alternative is cycling as it is virtually free, quick, non-polluting and healthy. No other option can compete and it is very unfortunate that the StL region is managed to ignore this valuable choice. As long as local leadership disavows bike lanes, toll roads, efficient bus routes, dedicated transit lanes, density, and parking fees, the likelihood of having a good mass transit system here is close to zero.

  20. Linda says:

    I used to take the bus and train all the time. I used to think everyone should have to take public transportation for two weeks out of their lifetime to see whatever it is one sees on PT and however it is you make sense of it. I hate the Grand Bus. But the last time i was on the bus–Kingshighway from the CWE to Arsenal, this young man and his friends were talking about blowing away cops and which lawyers were good to get you outta doing time. This was peppered with all sorts of foul language and bravado and in a loud voice. Then they talked about the bitches and hos on the southside. Oh, but i forgot, this kid tried to bum the bus fare off me and then cursed me when i wouldn’t give it to him. He also mentioned that he’d just gotten out of jail. what a creep. so i try to avoid the bus–it’s also hard for women who get sexually harassed a lot. although i do think there’s an opportunity here for mobile counselors.

    but the scariest incident i’ve ever encountered happened on the train when three teenage girls were singing a crude song in a very loud voice and hovering around a seated passenger obviously intimidating her. finally after about 5-10 minutes someone buzzed for the driver to send help and the three girls ran off the train at the next stop.

  21. stlmark says:

    Nice post. It takes guts for a white guy to bring up race in this town, be it positive or negative. While I agree with your post, I see one thing as inaccurate: you are talking about race in the context of STL. White people are the minority. People of African descent are the numeric majority in STL coming in at 51.2%, all other races (caucasian, asian, pacific isl, native amer, latino/hispanic) make up the remaining 48.8% (My source is wikipedia.org).

    Nationally, black people are a minority, but when talking about riding Metro in the city, we should consider whites and all other races to be the minority.

  22. Cheryl Hammond says:

    I have not seen anyone mention the best reason of all to make every effort to leave the car at home and to ride Metro. That is climate change. Private vehicles are a huge contributor to climate change, not to mention air pollution and the huge environmental impacts of building enough roads to service a nation of one -person to a car vehicles.

    The incidents mentioned of harrassment and crime on Metro are scary. However, I try to keep it in perspective. I ride Metro every day, not to commute since I work from a home office, but for everyday activities- like going to the library, bank, restaurants, shopping, seeing friends, attending meetings. I have not encountered crime or harrassment, but certainly am concerned that it could happen.

    But, also, very frequently, when I drive, I see accidents with injured drivers and passengers, and I know that I could be hurt driving. Where is the outcry for all the human costs of accidents on the road? Do we just take that as an unavoidable cost of daily life? Do we have a different standard for Metro? We have to keep the dangers of using Metro in perspective.

  23. stlouis says:

    I’ll only add that I’m a 30-year-old white male, 5’10, 155lbs – relatively athletic and I can put a mean scowl on my face that says the world’s already f*&$#d with me too much today, but I’m ALWAYS very conscience of who is around me and I never have my blackberry or ipod in my hand without having a severe deathgrip on it and even then I try not to take it out at all. It’s useless to assess blame, but we all benefit by being very conscience of who’s around us. And kudos to the poster who called out the kids wanting his cell phone. It may not be smart, but it’s work for me before as well. Someone stopped and asked for my wallet walking home from Metrolink. I told him “no” and kept walking. He followed me and told me to give it to him a couple more times, but in the end chose not to do anything.

  24. Karl says:

    Cheryl – your last paragraph is simply brilliant. Very similar to the outcry for all kinds of intervention/regulation of airlines. My wife and family are worried every time I fly (which is about every-other week) but they don’t seem to understand that it’s more dangerous for me to drive 15 miles to the airport than it is for me to fly. I actually take some guilty (and tasteless) pleasure from listening to the accident/traffic reports every morning on KWMU and never hearing “the Shrewsbury line in backed up today and it looks like we have a couple trains that have collided near Wellston.”

  25. Melanie Harvey says:

    I too rode the #97 this morning – about an hour before you, Steve –
    and as usual there were no incidents of harassment. As usual “blacks” outnumbered “whites” and everyone was just quietly trying to get to work on time, a service at which Metro does an excellent job. The NEW SCHEDULE BOOK for MetroLink and all MO bus routes 2008 was handed out FREE at Delmar Station this morning and will be handed out at other stations for the rest of December – schedules for handouts are posted at MetroLink Station Info Boards. Some of the bus-drivers may have them as well. After December the books cost $3 at the Metro stores (7th & Washington downtown and Clayton Station 2nd fl @Central Ave.).
    I “live by the book” as a non-driver in the City. The Metro web-site,
    including TRIPFINDER, is always the best source of information, but I carry the book for its maps, readability, and flexibility. (Signage at stations is more accurate than it used to be but would benefit from maps….)
    Re: crime – of course one has to be alert, anywhere. It’s an urban problem not a Metro problem. Personally I feel safer using transit than I do on the highways where every suburban driver seems to be exceeding the speed limit with a cell phone in hand. Now how’s that for another ugly and non-productive stereotype!?!
    Re: the social stigma of using transit – let’s get over it! My paradigm shift occurred years ago on the first of many trips to Toronto, home to a rainbow of people in many classes who use transit regularly. Sure, we can complain we’re not Toronto and never will be, but what good does that do? We can choose to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Using transit contributes to a healthy civic environment as well as to the physical environment. Thanks, Steve, for riding MetroBus today.

  26. Different Chris says:

    I think we need to realize that the vast majority of people responding to this blog are urbanists/city lovers. Strictly speaking, if you ask the vast majority of all St. Louisans, they equate riding the bus with being poor. Not saying it’s true, I’m just saying that the perception is that if you can drive in St. Louis, you should. Admittedly not the best attitude, in my opinion.

    Likewise, I want to comment on the comments about people’s wonderful/horrible experiences on the bus in St. Louis. Of course, some people DO get robbed on the bus in St. Louis. Likewise, many people have certainly rode the bus in St. Louis their entire lives without any trouble. Some of it’s being smart (being aware of your surroundings, etc), but some of it–let’s admit it–is luck. If I have one request, let’s not base our beliefs off of just our personal experiences.

    I rode the bus in DC for four years until I was forced to move because of the high cost of living. Some bus routes are wonderful pastiches of humanity, while some bus routes will expose you to the nadir of society.

  27. Dennis says:

    I think you have a much better chance of getting your car broke into at some mall parking garage than you have of being robbed or attacked on a bus.

  28. ex-stl says:

    Different Chris: True, we are kind of preaching to the choir around here. And I also agree I’ve had weird/wonderful and sometimes spooky encounters when in that random milieu (ie the tearful elderly woman who related that her long dead son appears to her regularly) all I could think to say at the time was to ask if that was a comfort and offer condolences. my heart went out, but luckily my stop was next.

    and then there’s always the toddler that giggles and waves.

  29. SJ says:

    Crime happens everywhere.

    I’ve been mugged twice, once by 2 young black girls on South Grand and the other by 2 young black guys at the Wellston metrolink station. Being a young white female Im just more careful now than before. Watch your surroundings and be safe. I carry pepperspray now too.

  30. john w. says:

    I was given one of the free system guides this morning at the 8th and Pine station, but frustratingly enough, the #57 Manchester bus route does not have the correctly matching schedule information. The schedule appears to be from another bus route (further west into the county). I’ll just download the schedule page from the Metro site and paste it into the book, but I thought I’d point out the error.

  31. john says:

    To watch an excellent video on creating a successful, effective, and popular mass transit system, go to:http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/01/28/streetfilm-brt-in-bogota/
    – –
    It is quite clear that StL region will never “get it” as proven by the management of local and state transportation resources which favors oil addictiive solutions. The design of the Extension, the New 64 and what is being advocated here will never produce anything comparable to what moves 1.3 million people in Bogota everyday.


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