Talk to Metro about buses and MetroLink

Whether you have questions about getting from Point A to Point B or need transit information about your commute, the experts at Metro can help with answers about MetroLink and MetroBus. Join the monthly chat on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at noon.

  • Good afternoon, St. Louis! It’s been a very busy month for us at Metro as we have visited many organizations to share details about our comprehensive analysis of the MetroBus system – called Metro ReImagined. It’s a proactive look at the mobility needs of our region and we’re excited to chart a future that allows for flexibility and innovation. Stay tuned for more on that project. Until then, let’s get to your transit questions!
  • An election is coming up, I saw Ride KC is offering free rides. What about St. Louis?
  • George,

    Metro often receives requests for free fares for events including election days, special groups, individuals and families in need. We are in the process of exploring changes to our fare policies and structure, and any decisions regarding promotional fares will come out of that discussion. Passenger fares comprise an important source of funds required to sustain the operation of the Metro transit system, and accordingly we must be judicious regarding the offering of free and discount transit fares.
  • Other cities don't allow cell phone calls on public transportation. Any closing to banning calls on STL Metro busses yet or do we get to continue to listen to people scream obscenities into their phones all ride long? Un-regulation music violations are bad enough, but people cussing and screaming the entire trip into their phone need to be stopped!
  • Cold0911,

    Cell phones and other mobile devices are ubiquitous across society and provide an array of information and communication options people wish to access, including during their transit trip. While cell phone use is prohibited for Metro employees who are operating a bus, train or van, we do not plan to prohibit cell phone use for Metro customers. Some transit agencies have deployed public information campaigns that remind customers to use discretion in the content and volume of their calls, and this is an idea we will raise with our Marketing team. In the event you experience behavior that is profane, threatening, or otherwise a nuisance, I encourage you to contact Metro Public Safety at 314-982-6873, or report this behavior to a Metro operator or Public Safety employee. You may find that when riding near the operator on a bus or train (in the front car), you may be less likely to experience this nuisance behavior.
  • Brandon,

    There are a few different options for traveling to the SIUE campus from Downtown St. Louis. Which option works best for you is dependent on the time of day and day of week you are traveling. Madison County Transit, the transit service provider in Madison County, IL, operates bi-directional express service between Edwardsville, IL and Downtown Monday – Friday during peak hours. If you are traveling during off-peak hours or on weekends, your trip would likely include taking MetroLink east to the Emerson Park MetroLink Station, and a local MCT route to your final destination. You may plan your trip on MCT’s website here (go to "Plan Your Trip" at right), or by calling MCT at 618-797-INFO (4636).
  • im wondering how to get to the SIUE campus from downtown St. Louis. Any suggestions?
  • Mike,

    Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Metro Reimagined project, which is a comprehensive, full-scale analysis of the MetroBus system. Metro Reimagined is much more than a study of transit operations. It’s a proactive look at the mobility needs of the region, which will help us improve the customer experience and increase access to destinations throughout the area.

    Metro and our partners recently completed a detailed analysis of the operations of our existing system. Throughout the fall, we’ve been engaging our customers and the public to obtain feedback on their experiences and expectations. Last month we began using this information to craft a series of guiding principles, or themes for change. In the coming months, we will develop draft service recommendations, which we will bring back to the public in winter 2018. By late spring 2018, we will have revised these recommendations based on public input, and will have a final plan ready to adopt and begin implementing. I encourage you to continue to stay involved in the project by visiting the project website. We will continue to provide periodic updates as we move through this 15-month project.
  • A couple-few months ago you asked us to take the role of a metro planner and rate what we'd like to see come to our system. What were the results from that study, and what, if anything, will be implemented due to that? thanks
  • Hi - Which stations do you expect to have turnstiles installed at as part of the security improvements? I also read that East-West Gateway is performing a comprehensive security review of Metro - how and when will that be conducted?
  • Jimmy,

    It is our understanding that East-West Gateway Council of Governments intends to issue a request for proposals for a security review across the Metro Transit System, however the scope and level of effort for this work, and any pilot station barriers, is still being defined.
  • Where is the Gateway Card? Why is it taking so long?
  • Pam,

    Thank you for your interest in the Gateway Card “smart card” fare payment program. We are continuing to move through the project implementation process, including testing customer-facing applications so that we are confident we are delivering a quality product. Testing of our more advanced components, like the Gateway Card Online Store, will progress heavily through the end of the year. In early 2018, we’ll assess how the entire system is performing across the board. If we’ve met our requirements for delivering the best possible smart card system, we’ll slowly begin rollout Gateway Cards in 2018.
  • I have two questions: First, why did a helicopter land on the Shrewsbury station parking lot on Tuesday about 5:40 p.m.? Second, also on Tuesday around 6:50 a.m. 3 security guards were checking passes, tickets, and transfers, on a blue line westbound train. The guy sitting across from me had not have one. When the guard asked him where he was going, he said that he was on his way to work. The guard then said, "If you are on your way to work, then I will give you a pass (meaning not an actual pass to ride, but not kicking him off at the next station)". Is this policy now, and does it mean that people can ride the train for free?
  • MetroLink Rider,

    The helicopter landing you referenced was a contractor of Ameren UE that is performing overhead line maintenance.

    Metro’s fare policy is that all MetroLink customers must possess a valid ticket, pass or transfer. Violators are subject to removal from the transit system and citation for this violation. However, Metro fare inspectors may occasionally issue a courtesy warning to a customer who is not in possession of a valid fare. It is likely that the fare inspector’s intention in this instance was to allow the customer passage on their journey to work, rather than removing them from the train and awaiting law enforcement, which can be a lengthy delay. This is not standard practice.
  • How does the Metro Authority justify the use of blacked out Metro busses to escort riot geared police into protest areas?

    Not only does Metro benefit from city and state tax subsidies, but they also receive Federal grants; which seemed to be being used to stifle free speech in our city.

    To boot, when asked very few of your employees, who are predominantly black, have any idea that this is taking place.

    My second question is how does metro justify this lack of transparency with not only the populace that it serves and profits from, but to its own employees that keep it functioning.

    It seems as though metro is aiding in the suppression of blacks rights while profiteering off of them both through employment and patronage.

    I really do hope to receive a response to this question so many of us have been asking as of late; including many f your employees , once they learn of these acts.
  • Foster LeFou,

    MetroBus vehicles are a regional resource providing public transit, and sometimes the region calls on this resource for varied transit or public safety purposes. For example, when needed, Metro buses are used as cooling stations during extremely dangerous temperatures at major regional events such as Fair Saint Louis. We are also called upon to provide buses to evacuate senior centers and nursing homes in the event of power outages, fires, flooding, tornadoes or other regional emergencies. We have even been called upon to provide temporary temperature-controlled shelter for animals when a downtown shelter lost its power.

    Responding to requests from emergency responders is not new. As far as we know, the practice dates back to 1963 when Bi-State Development established a public transit system for the bi-state region. The Executive Director for Metro Transit ultimately has responsibility to review such requests, ensure that regular MetroBus service is not impacted and support the public safety needs of the region in any way possible. This practice is also consistent with the rules and regulations of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

    Regular service is not impacted by fulfilling these requests, which are supported by Metro’s regular MetroBus fleet, not special vehicles. Employee communication and assignment of shifts, wages and operator scheduling for these services are no different than when we are providing public transit service in non-emergency situations.
  • How do monthly passes in combination with the Gateway Card work? If I were to buy a monthly on November 13th, is it good until December 13th or just the rest of November?
  • Robert K,

    When Gateway Card is introduced, the array of available pass products will change slightly. The 30-day pass, which is currently purchased from ticket vending machines, will be replaced by a monthly calendar pass (i.e. a pass would be valid for the entire calendar month of November). The process of issuing and validating Gateway Cards will differ slightly from today’s paper tickets, and as such these change will ensure that passes are only available for use for a predetermined period.
  • Robert K,

    Metro provides automated announcements aboard MetroBus via technology called automatic vehicle location (AVL). Announcements are pre-programmed by location, and are played when the vehicle reaches the determined stop. MetroLink trains are equipped with a different type of vehicle location program, and as such automated announcements are not currently possible. Metro is working to pursue the deployment of AVL across our MetroLink system. We are currently in the process of defining the full scope of this project, and pursuing funds for its implementation. In the meantime, I will share your feedback regarding the difficulty of hearing these announcements with our MetroLink operations team.
  • Another question: Why don't MetroLink trains have automated upcoming station & connecting bus line announcements? The platforms have automated arrival announcements and the new 70 Grand buses have automated intersection announcements. Some drivers are very hard to understand as they rattle off their announcements.
  • Thanks for joining us for our monthly Live Chat! We'll be back next month to answer more of your transportation questions. In the meantime, keep the conversation going by following us on Twitter and Facebook. You can also reach out to us by contacting Customer Service Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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