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Missouri Baseball Fans Don’t Ride Buses, Illinois Fans Do

October 24, 2011 Featured, Public Transit 10 Comments

The following is an October 18th press release from our transit agency Metro:

Extra MetroLink Service for World Series Games 1 and 2

The excitement is building in Cardinal Nation on the eve of Game 1 of the World Series in St. Louis, and Metro Transit is ready to help Cards fans and visitors avoid downtown traffic congestion on game nights.

Metro will operate extra Eastbound and Westbound trains after the Wednesday and Thursday night games to help the crowds get home, and Metro staff will be at the Stadium MetroLink Station and other nearby stations to monitor the crowds and assist with customer boarding.

Great, but no mention of MetroBus service at all.  Maybe bus service isn’t that significant relative to light rail?

From the bottom of Metro’s press releases:

Metro is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 365 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 75 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 120 vans.

The fact is buses move many more people in the region each and every day than light rail. The exception might be game days. What about the person in north city or south county that wants to attend a game with no nearby access to light rail but one of the 75 regular MetroBus routes? Sorry, no extra bus service. Most likely there isn’t a need — no masses of people crowding bus stops wearing red.

ABOVE: 15 St. Clair County buses waiting during game 2 last week.

Except in St. Clair County across the river. In addition to MetroLink light rail service in St. Clair County the transit district operates the RedBird Express — $5 per adult round trip:


Buses leave from: 134 St. Clair Square, Fairview Heights, Il, 62208, near the Water Tower. First bus leaves 2 1/2 hours prior to game time with service every 5 – 10 minutes.

Fares are round trip only. Cash fares only. No passes, tickets, or transfers accepted on Special Service. Exact fares please.

Last bus leaves 40 minutes prior to game times.

All Buses are wheelchair lift equipped and unload/load outside Gate 4 (Left Field) which is on the corner of 7th & Clark.


The buses will be lined up at the corner of 7th and Clark at the pick-up/drop-off point. When leaving the stadium, board the front bus and once the bus has a seated load it will return to Fairview Heights.

In the event of an early exit (rain delay, extra innings, heat related, etc…), passengers always have the option to exit the stadium and board the bus to return whenever they see fit. Once there are enough passengers to warrant a return trip, a bus will return. Always go to the front bus unless instructed otherwise by one of our representatives.

MOST IMPORTANT: The last bus will return from the stadium 25 minutes after the official end of the game.

Are baseball fans in Illinois more willing to ride buses or they do so because the service is offered and promoted? Would such service from Jamestown, Chesterfield and South County malls see similar use if offered?

ABOVE: The top level of the stadium west garage was only about a third full.

I’d like to see many more baseball fans using transit to reach the games. The fares though won’t cover the costs but that is true of all transit. Of course the cost of auto exhaust, accidents, etc is a cost we all share in. I’d like to see one or both stadium garages  removed so that land can be used for people not cars.

– Steve Patterson


4th Annual MetroLink Prom 7pm Tonight

Tonight is the annual MetroLink Prom. Here is the full press release:


Citizens for Modern Transit, City Affair, and the Transit Riders Union of St. Louis Present Celebration of the MetroLink Blue Line


Five years ago, St. Louis’s illustrious MetroLink light rail system took a great leap forward with a brand new line that connected St. Louisans for the first time by rail to exotic locales such as Maplewood, Richmond Heights and Shrewsbury. For the fourth time in as many years, St. Louisans will unite to dance aboard the the trains in the off-beat, one-of-a-kind MetroLink Prom. Why do we do this year after year? Because MetroLink—and public transit in general—makes St. Louis a better, more accessible city. Now, with the Blue Line in place, St. Louis can experience our resurgent, historic urban core as well as our thriving, inner ring suburbs in just seven light rail stops.

WHAT: 4th Annual MetroLink Prom

WHO: All lovers of mass transit and formalwear

WHEN: Friday, October 7, 2011 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Meet at the Forest Park/DeBaliviere MetroLink Station at 7pm

HOW MUCH: A two-hour Metro pass ($2.75) – Purchase your own, please!


Just like it sounds – a full-blown, high school-style PROM aboard your favorite transit system. Dress in your finest attire—try to wear something blue—and meet us at the MetroLink Forest Park/DeBaliviere Station on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 7 p.m. We’ll direct you from there. When we arrive at Shrewsbury Station, we’ll award the night’s finest dressed (blue-themed formalwear or costumes) with the title of Prom King and Prom Queen before riding back to the Skinker Station.

The newly anointed Prom Court will then lead us in our promenade from the Skinker Station to the Moonrise Hotel’s rooftop bar for our Blue Moon Ball – a night of drinking and dancing with an unparalleled bird’s eye view of the city and its duo of MetroLink lines. (That’s a half mile parade to show off our finery to the general public. A drum line will lead the way!).

The official Facebook event is here. Last year was my first MetroLink Prom and I had a great time so I wouldn’t think of missing this year. If you live in the city or inner suburbs you can easily get to the MetroLink system via MetroBus if you don’t live close to a station. You can use Metro St. Louis or Google Transit to check your transit options.  The #01 Gold and #90 Hampton MetroBus lines stop at the Forest Park MetroLink station.

I’ve been trying to think of a fun themed event to do on MetroBus. MetroBus Homecoming?

– Steve Patterson


Taste of St. Louis Today Through Sunday, Tours of Peabody Opera

The annual Taste of St. Louis kicks off today and runs through Sunday, from their press release:

The Taste of St. Louis is a celebration of food, art, music, and the culture of the great city of St. Louis. The 2011 Taste will feature celebrity chefs, 45 of St. Louis’ best restaurants along Sauce Magazine’s Restaurant Row, the Chef Battle Royale on the Lumiere Place and River City Casino Culinary stage, The Kids’ Kitchen, free music concerts on the Main Stage, and the Art & Wine Walk.

This year is a bit different because the main stage will be west of 14th — in front of the new Peabody Opera House. I attended the Taste of St. Louis press conference a few days ago at the Peabody. Wow, unbelievably impressive. Hats off to the generations before us that built such a magnificent structure during the Great Depression. It’s amazing what $79 million can do for a building that has been vacant for more than 20 years.

ABOVE: Inside the Peabody Opera House September 2011

The official opening performance at the new Peabody isn’t until October 1st but this weekend you can see inside for free as part of the Taste of St. Louis weekend.

Last year Taste introduced EGS – Event Greening Services:

With a current attendance of more than 300,000, the Taste was the first event in the region to pioneer aggressive, eco-friendly practices in multiple areas of our operations. We’ve received a lot of media attention for our greening efforts, and, with the help of our community, plan to continue to build on these efforts each year.

I thought it worked well last year, even more waste should be recycled this year.

ABOVE: Recycling center at the 2010 Taste of St. Louis

The event is held in the Gateway Mall’s “Civic Room” (aka Soldiers Memorial) at Chestnut & 13th. Thankfully their site doesn’t give driving directions but suggests using Metro. Unfortunately, they only mention MetroLink, not MetroBus.  Everyday in St. Louis more people are transported via MetroBus than MetroLink but everyone acts like it doesn’t matter.  If you live in the region you have public transit options to get downtown for this great event. They might include MetroBus, MetroLink or both. North, south, east or west of downtown there is public transit that will get you to the event.

Some MetroBus options:

  • From North city: 4, 30, 32, 41, 70, 74, 94, 97
  • From North county to downtown: 74; to Hanley MetroLink : 35, 44, 47, 61, 75
  • From West city: 10, 32
  • From West county to MetroLink: 56, 57, 58, 91
  • From South city: 8, 10, 11, 40, 70, 73, 80
  • From South county to downtown: 73 to MetroLink: 17, 21, 46

Many options! For everyone, except those in Madison County, can use Google Maps or Metro’s Trip Planner to determine your route options. Those in Madison county see Madison County Transit for various bus routes to 5th & Missouri MetroLink. Note that some bus lines use Market and/or 14th, they will be rerouted slightly due to Taste, but you will still get closer than if you drove.

Got bike? Bike parking will be at Tucker & Chestnut.

ABOVE: One of the many things I ate last year at the Taste, a veggie sambosa

Have a great weekend — see you at the Taste of St. Louis!

– Steve Patterson


A Voice for All Transit Riders in St. Louis

September 20, 2011 Featured, Public Transit 28 Comments
ABOVE: Transit riders at the Civic Center MetroBus Transit Center

Today, on the 62nd anniversary of the formation of the Bi-State Development Agency, we are pleased to announce the formation of the Transit Riders Union of St. Louis (TRUSTL) which will fight for the public transit needs of the citizens of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area riding MetroBus, MetroLink, Call-A-Ride or Madison County Transit.

Members of the TRUSTL steering committee began meeting a few months ago to address a growing need for a unified voice for all transit riders in the St. Louis region. As riders, we have all complained to Metro about one thing or another sometimes getting positive results, other times as if our needs were falling on deaf ears. We decided the time to organize as transit riders was now to insure the needs of all riders are heard and respected.

We want to have a way to hear what other transit riders have to say about the quality of the service and insure Metro listens and responds appropriately to our needs.

TRUSTL’s purpose is to promote and defend public transit in order to:

  • restore urban vitality
  • ensure transportation equality
  • improve overall quality of life

TRUSTL has established a Transit Riders’ Bill of Rights which we will use as a guide to our actions. We believe all transit riders in the St. Louis Metro Area have the right to:

  • Equitably reliable, affordable and efficient transit for all riders
  • Cooperation between all transit agencies in the region to allow for fluidity and simplicity of travel
  • Transparent and easily used lines of communication between transit agencies and riders with mechanisms in place to address and respond to rider concerns
  • Helpful, courteous service from employees of all regional transit agencies
  • Safe, clean and regularly maintained transit facilities throughout the entire Metro region
  • Accurate signage and up to date transit information made available aboard all buses, trains, transit stations and connecting bus stops
  • Current schedules, routes and ridership data available online

Members of the TRUSTL Steering Committee include:

See you in transit!

-Justin, Herbie, Steve, Charles & Eddie


1907: “Colored” St. Louis School Principal Misquoted by the Press

September 16, 2011 Downtown, Featured, History/Preservation, Media, Public Transit Comments Off on 1907: “Colored” St. Louis School Principal Misquoted by the Press
ABOVE: Dumas Public School was located on Lucas just west of 14th, all razed when 14th was extended to Washington. 1909 Sanborn map via UMSL Digital Library (click image to view source)

In researching the Dumas Public School, razed long ago, I came across an interesting tidbit about the school’s principal, Arthur D. Langston. The following appeared in the New York Times on December 8, 1907:

Colored School Principsal Advises His Race — Corrects Statement.

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 7. – Prof. Arthur D. Langston, Principal of the Dumas Public School of St. Louis, in addressing the Missouri Negro Republican League delegates here a few days ago, was erroneously reported as having said that  “no negro should occupy a seat while a white woman stands, and dirty negros should not be allowed on the street cars at all.”

In his address Prof. Langston said: “Colored people and whites associate more intimately in the street cars than in other places; therefore, it becomes a matter of great importance that we conduct ourselves properly in “every way on street cars.  Let the negro make the white man ashamed by never occupying a seat while a lady is standing.”

Wow, huge difference between the two! Mr. Langston (1855-1908) died the following April at the age of 52, he is buried in Nashville TN.

– Steve Patterson