Talk about that new Civic Center Transit Center

On Aug. 14, MetroBus will resume service at the revamped Civic Center Transit Center. That's when 23 MetroBus routes that serve downtown will meet at the transit center and connect riders with MetroLink. Four existing MetroBus routes will be split into eight new routes, with shorter routes giving more direct service and better reliability. Join the experts for the monthly chat on Wednesday, August 2 at noon to learn more.

  • Good afternoon St. Louis! Final preparations are being made at the Civic Center Transit Center in downtown St. Louis, where passengers will notice a new, indoor waiting area, bathrooms and a place to pick up a snack before making a connection via MetroBus or MetroLink. The new, redesigned transit center will open on Monday, August 14 during the Quarterly Service Change. This service change will modify MetroBus service for 33 routes across the St. Louis region. We’re happy to answer your transit questions today.
  • John,

    We’re hoping these shorter routes will provide customers with more direct, reliable connections to the places they want to go. Metro’s current service plan for Downtown and surroundings includes some routes that have been created for operations-driven needs, rather than customer needs. For example, today we don’t see a great deal of through travel between the segments on the “U” shape of the #30 Soulard, however prior to the Civic Center expansion we did not have a space for two separate routes to stop and “lay over” in Downtown.

    Other routes, like the #40 Broadway, were very long and often experienced delays in traffic, especially in Downtown. By splitting the #40 Broadway into two routes, the #40 North Broadway and #20 South Broadway, we anticipate we’ll operate service more on-time, and we’ve expanded the reach of service on the Broadway corridor. The #20 South Broadway will provide service all the way to Jefferson Barracks, rather than stopping further north at the current terminal location at the Catalan Loop.

    We will be closely monitoring customer feedback about this new service plan, as well as paying close attention to how the service operates to determine what changes may be needed in the near future. I encourage you to have a look at the new maps and schedules on our website, or use Trip Planner to create a trip plan (change the date to August 14 or beyond), and let us know how the new service impacts the trips you make aboard Metro. You may reach us at customerrservice@metrostlouis.org, at 314-982-1406, or by speaking directly with one of our MetroBus managers that will be stationed at the Civic Center Transit Center.
  • You've cut several long routes into two, forcing passengers to transfer and for them to incur a layover. How is this good transit planning?
  • How can Metro improve frequency on MetroBus routes, specifically its highest ridership routes?
  • MetroRider,

    As mobility needs and transit demand evolves in our region, Metro is working to implement changes to our transit system that better aligns service to customer needs, within the available resources the region provides for transit and other mobility solutions. This ongoing effort has intensified recently as part of a project we kicked off this spring called Metro Reimagined. This work is taking a proactive look at the mobility needs of the St. Louis region to help us make decisions about the type of transit service that is best suited for each of the many markets we serve (the “type” of transit service includes frequency, schedule, route alignment, vehicle types, amenities, technology, etc.)

    You are invited to participate in Metro Reimagined, first by visiting our project website and participating in an online game where you can communicate with Metro about your preferences for transit service investment. Beginning this fall, we will engage the participation and feedback of customers, the public and regional leaders in a conversation about what our transit system can look like. After some iterations of service plans, we intend to arrive at a recommend service plan in summer 2018. This service plan would likely be implemented incrementally, with some “easy fixes” occurring first, followed by investments that may require changes in vehicles, infrastructure, technology, etc.

    This type of study is typically conducted by transit agencies every five to ten years, and is intended to create a transit system plan that is forward-looking and customer centric. I hope you’ll participate in this conversation!
  • Can you guarantee the Civic Center will be safe?
  • Sue,

    Keeping the transit riding public and our employees safe is Metro’s highest priority. We are excited about the operations plan we will be launching at Civic Center Transit Center beginning August 14, and together with our law enforcement partners at the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County, we are committed to ensuring the safety of our customers. Here’s how:

    1. Metro will have on-site security personnel 24 hours per day. This personnel will include members of our 130-person contract security team for all hours, and members of Metro’s 38-person Public Safety team during the hours the Civic Center is operational.
    2. Metro contracts with our partners for police officers, and these teams will be monitoring the transit system as well as the Civic Center Transit Center.
    3. Metro has installed surveillance cameras throughout the new Civic Center; these cameras will be closely monitored.
    4. MetroBus managers will be on-site at Civic Center Transit Center during most of our hours of operation to assist customers and Metro employees, and will be in direct contact with our Public Safety Team.

    We are delighted to deliver the Civic Center Transit Center to the public, on time and within budget. I hope that you will visit Civic Center, try the service, and tell us what you think. I invite you to preview Civic Center and talk one-on-one with Metro personnel at our Public Open House at the Civic Center Transit Center on Friday, August 11 from 11:30am – 1:30pm. This will be a fun event, with food trucks, live music, an art bus painting, and visits from Fredbird and Louie.
  • Every few days, the escalator at 8th and pine goes out of service. Is Metro operations team aware of this issue? What is it doing?
  • Aligo,

    I am sorry for the inconvenience experienced by the reliability of our outdoor escalators. We are aware when these outages occur, we are typically notified by Metro personnel and the public, and we conduct operations checks throughout the day. Our outdoor escalators, including 8th & Pine, operate in a harsh environment and are nearing the end of their useful life (they turned 23 this year). We are seeking a long-term solution to their replacement, and here’s how we’re handling their maintenance in the interim. We perform annual cleandowns of the units, which requires about one week to accomplish. When we experience an outage, we dispatch a service technician to fix the problem; sometimes this involves ordering parts and prolongs their downtime. We recognize the inconvenience these outages pose to our customers, and are working to minimize these outages in the short and long-term.
  • Justin,

    The St. Louis region took a first look at bus rapid transit (BRT) through the Rapid Transit Connector Study (2014). As you may be aware, BRT is a higher-speed, higher-capacity, higher-amenity type of bus-based transit. BRT has been implemented with great success worldwide and is growing in popularity across the US. While we have not yet seen the implementation of BRT in our region, it is a viable transit option that would suit a number of markets across our service area. BRT would best be implemented as part of a larger system plan that is integrated with a strong bus network, light rail, and possibly other mobility solutions like transportation network providers, carpools/vanpools, bike share, walking, small shuttles, etc. I invite you to participate in the conversation about the mix of mobility options throughout the St. Louis Region through a project Metro recently launched called Metro Reimagined (check out details in the response to MetroRider below).
  • South City Rider,

    I know how frustrating it can be to nearly miss a connection. I will share your feedback with our MetroBus team, who can ensure that the #70 Grand does not depart the Grand MetroLink Station ahead of schedule. If the bus is running on schedule and you don’t make a connection, it may be that that bus-rail connection is not the scheduled connection. We endeavor to minimize the wait time between connections, but since the buses and trains aren’t always operating the same frequency, it may be that the next bus is the “scheduled” connection. If you experience this at a particular time of day and day type (weekday, Saturday, Sunday), please let me know so that we can target our inquiry.

    Regarding our Securitas contract security personnel, their management team, as well as our Metro Public Safety personnel are monitoring their performance. I will share your concerns with our Public Safety management.
  • Two requests, albeit unrelated to the new Civic Center:
    1) Often, the 70 Southbound bus leaves several seconds earlier than most people who 2) I am used to seeing the private security not actively interacting or patrolling the platforms--sometimes they are on their phones away from the platform. What quality assurance measures are in place to ensure the job is being performed as required?
    up the stairs at the Grand station. Since it seems this 70 Southbound departure is coordinated with the train, can their be a visual delay to account for delayed trains, please (it seems the overall schedule is dictated more by traffic/lights in the PM)?
  • I would love to take the bus to work. I live in south city and a bus currently stops one block from my house and drops me off at my employers front door. However, it takes 45+ minutes versus a 15 minute drive. Why are there so many stops? I would happily walk a couple blocks to shave 20 minutes off of my transit time.
  • South City,

    I understand that you are frustrated that transit travel requires more time than auto travel; such is often the nature of transit travel, except in severely congested cities. We do have some opportunities to narrow this gap in travel time between transit and driving (please see discussion of Metro Reimagined in responses below). Opportunities for faster service are likely more competitive in our busiest corridors (your user name indicates you likely reside near such a corridor).

    As an aside, I am a transit rider and I do enjoy the “quiet” time, the reliability, and the cost savings of using transit; I realize it may not offset the additional travel time, but something to consider…

    Please become involved in this conversation through the Metro Reimagined project. If more frequent service and fewer stops is your priority, tell us that by playing the online allocation game.
  • Thank you for a great conversation this afternoon! I hope to see you the Open House for the Civic Center Transit Center on Friday, August 11. If you haven't checked it out already, please visit the page for Metro Reimagined to find out more about opportunities for enhancing service, and tell us what you expect of your Metro. Stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved in Metro Reimagined beginning this fall.
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