Talk to Metro about buses and MetroLink

Talk to Metro about buses and MetroLink

Ask the transit experts about bus and train schedules, new technology, fares and more in our monthly chat. Join them on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at noon to get answers to all your questions about how to get around the St. Louis area.

    Good afternoon, St. Louis. As we get closer to the end of the year, we are gearing up for an exciting 2019. Next year, we will introduce the first phase of the Metro Reimagined service plan, which will offer more frequent MetroBus service, faster trips and better connections throughout the region. You’ll be able to review the updated version of that plan later this month, and have a chance to provide your feedback on the proposed changes. Stay tuned to our social media channels and the Metro website for more details. In the meantime, let's get to those transit questions!
    When will Metro allow riders to pay their fare by smartphone?
    John, Metro is committed to delivering the technology and service options our customers expect, including mobile ticketing, which would allow users to load some fare media onto their smart phones. There are several mobile ticketing products in the marketplace today, and Metro is actively engaged in a procurement process for a solution that will meet our customers’ needs, while also interfacing with our existing technology and equipment. We anticipate that we will have a mobile ticketing contract in 2019, and soon thereafter we will be able to deliver this convenient option to you.
    Why can't we get DOWNTOWN TROLLEY in the headsign of the buses. Since the wraps were removed, nowhere on the bus does it say DOWNTOWN TROLLEY, yet the literature for the visitors does. By the way, the stated reason for removing the wraps is false since I see the 674X buses on the route frequently and they were the ones that were wrapped.
    Downtown Resident, the buses that previously operated the #3 Downtown Trolley are now in operation on other routes within the Metro system. The rotation of these vehicles onto different routes allows Metro to maintain these buses on the same tempo as similar vehicles within the fleet. Through the Metro ReImagined process, Metro is exploring different mobility options for Downtown St. Louis. Some of these options do not require a large bus, and as such we are unlikely to wrap additional buses at this time.
    What are you doing about station cleanliness? Forest Park-DeBaliviere is always disgusting and could use a power washing. Also when are you guys switching to a different security company? frequently I see the current company not doing anything or not enforcing things. I contact you guys but by then its already to late and ruins the point of having the security in the first place.
    Resident, thank you for your feedback regarding station cleanliness and contract security. We hear you. We have renewed our focus on the cleanliness, maintenance, and design of our stations and transit centers. We addressing these needs in that order- first with a focus on cleaning and repairs; then some of our original stations will receive larger upgrades that improve their function and aesthetic. We are very focused on system security, including contract security for guards and stations and transit centers, plus roving fare inspectors. We will soon begin a procurement process for a new security contract; this new contract will begin in late winter 2019.
    Can you please give a general update on the status of MetroLink expansion, specifically the North-South line. I’m excited about the project but several projects in St. Louis seem to take so long that they lose the public momentum that they need in order to actually be accomplished.
  • County Resident,  thank you for your interest in the expansion of the MetroLink system. Large scale projects like this do take some time- Cities and transit agencies must complete a series of planning and design phases before beginning construction of any major projects. All the while, they are pursuing funding for planning, design, construction and operation, and then when ready, they pursue federal funding (for construction only). Any metropolitan region, including St. Louis, can only build as quickly as our local, state and federal revenue sources allow.
     
    There has been some momentum on the Northside-Southside MetroLink corridor. East-West Gateway Council of Governments (our region’s metropolitan planning organization) recently completed a conceptual design study for this corridor. This study was the next in a series of steps necessary for refining the planning and design of this project. After this, our next steps would be to begin a specific planning and design stage that is required through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant Program. In as soon as two years, the region could pursue federal funding for this project. The successful award of federal funding will be critical for constructing the next MetroLink expansion. Find out more on the project website.
     
    Outside of Northside-Southside, St. Louis County has outlined a conceptual study that would examine three different MetroLink options within St. Louis County. St. Louis County has not yet announced the timeline for this initiative.
  • I noticed a few weeks ago there was a lot of trash accumulated on the tracks at the Lambert Terminal 2 station. Is there routine cleaning conducted? Not a good first impression for out of town visitors.
  • Stlguy, it is unusual to see a collection of debris along the MetroLink tracks. I will share your comment with our team for action.
  • Why doesnt the farebox produce its own transfers like other major cities. This would eliminate a lot of people selling all day paper transfers at the metrolink stations?
  • Raymond Oliver, Metro is in the process of implementing a paper-less fare payment system. This will include elimination of paper transfers, which are currently issued by MetroBus operators. Instead, transfers will be available on electronic (smart card) media and soon via mobile payment (smart phone devices).
  • I know that Metro is trying to improve things, but I would suggest that you start with hiring a new security firm to provide platform security. I ride daily during the work week from the Shrewsbury Station between Union Station. There are not always security guards at these stations or others throughout the line. On the Shrewsbury Station the guards never check for passes, tickets or transfers. At the Grand and Union Station platforms people smoke on the platforms and there are NEVER any guards on the platforms to enforce this. Does Metro monitor the performance of the security firm? Hopefully you do not renew their contract when it comes up for renewal.
  • MetroLink Rider, thank you for your feedback regarding contract security and fare inspection across the MetroLink system. We recognize that customers will only choose the Metro transit system if they feel safe. We are very focused on system security at this time. With respect to contract security for guards and stations and transit centers, plus roving fare inspectors, we will soon begin a procurement process for a new security contract; this new contract will begin in late winter 2019. Our new contract approach will include an increased focus on presence, supervision, and fare inspection.
  • Thank you St. Louis for sending in your transit questions. We'll see you next month for another Live Chat. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us. Contact Metro Transit Information by calling 314-231-2345 or 618-271-2345 or texting 314-207-9786, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also text Metro Transit Public Safety directly at 314-300-0188, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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