The brightly colored Downtown Trolley MetroBus debuted four years ago. In the last four years service was expanded to seven days a week, it originally didn’t include Sunday. More recently the original buses used were replaced with new low-floor buses.
Last September I complained the new pedestrian wayfinding downtown lacked any reference to the Downtown Trolley (See: Downtown Trolley Ignored By Metro, CVC, & Downtown Community Improvement District). I expected the official response to be something like ‘Oh you’re right, we totally overlooked the Trolley.’
Instead the official responses were “it’s a moving target”, meaning they don’t want to print the route & stops on directories because that would require reprinting all as changes are made. I fully agree that we don’t want to present obsolete information to downtown visitors. While most MetroBus routes change often, the Downtown Trolley route hasn’t changed at all in the last four years.
In fact, in the last four years, only one stop moved and one was added. The one stop that moved from one block to the next likely just had the sign installed at the wrong spot.
Within a week after the Downtown Trolley began service these signs were moved to the next block east. As the colorful map shows, the stop was intended to be between 14th & 15th, not 15th & 16th. So not really a moved stop, more a correction on the placement of the sign. In the last four years other stops may have been moved to another post within the same block, but no other has moved to a completely different block. The only route change I’ve found is the addition of a stop on eastbound Clark just east of 14th.
I expect the pedestrian wayfinding throughout downtown to show the trolley but the three partners can’t even get the signs at the stops correct. It gets worse, the trolley page at the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis still lists the original press release from four years ago, including:
The new downtown trolley service will operate from 5:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturday. Service will reach each stop every 10 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and every 20 minutes the rest of the time.
So? Remember, the service was expanded to include Sunday service. You’d never know it from their website! In fact, the colorful graphic with the route map also shows the days and hours without Sunday — not updated since July 2010. Because they’ll very likely finally update the page after this post, you can read a PDF version from last night to show how out of date it is. The graphic is here.
The “moving target” line was complete and total BS, the CVC & Partnership seem to be deliberately sabotaging the Downtown Trolley. As a taxpayer into the special downtown community improvement district I’m highly displeased. I’m going do a new round of emails hoping to get action on adding the downtown trolley to the next printing of the pedestrian wayfinding as well as current and consistent marketing materials.
— Steve Patterson