Talk to Metro about buses and MetroLink

Get ready for service changes. With both sets of MetroLink tracks now open across the Eads Bridge, Metro is able to make changes to MetroLink and MetroBus schedules to improve on-time performance, create faster and easier connections, and create better service for passengers. On Monday, Aug. 22, new schedules will become effective for MetroLink and almost all MetroBus routes. Ask questions about your commute and join the experts during their monthly chat, Wednesday, Aug. 3 at noon

  • Good afternoon, St. Louis! We hope you're having a wonderful summer, and as you make plans for fall consider Metro Transit as your solution for getting all the places you need to go including work, school and everywhere in between. Please note that on Monday, August 22 Metro will make adjustments to schedules for MetroLink and most Missouri MetroBus routes. These changes come in response to the re-opening of MetroLink tracks in both directions across the Eads Bridge, following the renovation of this historic structure. Details about the service change, including maps and schedules, can be found at metrostlouis.org next week.
  • I read a story about an Ameren settlement with the Sierra Club that's intended for electric buses. Does this mean we'll see electric buses at Metro soon?
  • Robert,

    There was a recent settlement agreement between Ameren and the Sierra Club. Part of that settlement would provide some funds for the implementation of electric buses in the St. Louis region. Metro Transit is continuing to pursue development of electric bus technology, and will work with Ameren and other to make use of these funds for the purchase of electric vehicles or associated infrastructure. At this time we are working with manufacturers and don’t yet have a target date for acquiring these buses, but we look forward to launching a new electric bus program in the next few years.
  • I've heard a lot about MetroLink expansion recently, but what BRT (which is more feasible to implement)? What's the latest on this? Is BRT not an idea worth perusing?
  • Carol,

    Bus rapid transit (BRT), which is a higher-speed, higher-capacity type of bus-based transit service is certainly an idea worth pursuing in the St. Louis region. Metro and our partners, including St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis are continuing discussions about proceeding with implementation of BRT. The next logical step for the region is to proceed with final planning and design for one or more BRT routes, and we are currently pursuing funding for this purpose.

    The City of St. Louis and St. Louis County are also pursuing feasibility studies for four potential MetroLink extensions. These studies, which will be led by East-West Gateway Council of Governments with participation from Metro, are an important step in advancing transit expansion in the region.
  • Some of your trains are more than 15 years old. Any idea of a new train look is coming? I saw New York unveil its new train cars a week ago.
  • Frank,

    Metro has four series of light rail vehicles, which were put into service in 1992, 2001, 2003 and 2006. The introduction of new rail cars has coincided with service expansion. Light rail cars typically have a longer life than other vehicles such as buses, and there are many overhaul options available. We do not anticipate purchasing new rail cars in the near future, absent an expansion of service.
  • Jason,

    The #70 Grand has long been Metro’s busiest bus route, which made it the best candidate to receive the first delivery of 60’ articulated buses, which can handle more passengers than our other buses. At present we are able to accommodate passenger demand with our existing level of service, and we did think bus stops before we introduced the 60’ buses. We have explored introducing a higher level of service on grand, possibly with bus rapid transit (BRT) or express service overlaying local service. Either of these options would require additional resources, but would likely be productive. In the coming year we’ll be conducting some system evaluation and I anticipate revisiting priority service options (any enhancement of course would require funding).
  • Downtown Resident,

    The schedule changes that will be implemented on August 22 will be intended to preserve connections between the Red and Blue Lines at Forest-Park DeBaliviere MetroLink Station, as well as bus-rail connections elsewhere on the transit system.
  • I hope the new MetroLink schedule will not destroy the current convenient 2 minute connection between eastbound Red and westbound Blue trains (reverse also) at Forest Park. This is very convenient for airport commuters whose origin/destination is on the western Blue line.
  • I commute from south city to downtown by taking the 70 to the metrolink. the 70 is often very full, even the double length buses, and the buses stop a lot- typically on my evening commute the bus stops at every single stop. have you considered reducing the number of stops on grand? some of them are very close together. or have you considered creating a 70X that would only stop at transfers with other routes?
  • There are some really pollutive 60 foot buses on Grand, will these buses meet emissions laws? They spew black smoke. This is true for several of these buses.
  • Vil Villa,

    Yes, all Metro buses are ultra-low sulphur diesel meet emissions requirements.
  • Can Metro work with the Central Library to have bus schedules as well as Metrolink schedules for the public? In Kansas City, all timetables are at the Central Library. St. Louis has no single source open on weekends. I thought the schedule rack would be retained at the North County Transit Center, which it is not.
  • Vil Villa,

    Metro does provide inventory of timetables to public sites such as libraries. We do require that libraries and other destinations contact us to order inventory. You may be aware that Metro has recently launched some new tools for transit trip planning, including our web-based TripPlanner, which also includes real-time trip planning information. The same information is available via Google Transit, Metro’s “Metro on the Go” mobile app, and numerous other mobile applications. Metro is in the process of launching additional tools including a service that would allow customers to retrieve next bus/train times via text or e-mail, as well as a subscription-based service for alerts. These technology options allow customers to retrieve trip planning information wherever and whenever they need it.
  • Is it policy for the Metrolink operators to change the headsigns at Sunnen heading "west" to Shrewsbury? I notice many of them do it as the gates come down. I think this can be confusing at Shrewsbury, especially if there are two trains on the platform. I.E. a passenger might not know which train is leaving first and then board the wrong train.
  • Divide by Zero,

    MetroLink operators often change their head sign on their approach to their final station. Of course all trains departing Shrewsbury are heading east, as this is the terminal station. We haven’t often received complaints about customers boarding the wrong train at the end of the line.
  • The #99 Downtown Trolley frequency on weekends and weekday evenings has been drastically reduced to every 30 minutes. This is no longer a convenient route to take. I would also like to see this route better service Downtown West as far west as Jefferson and Washington on a 15 minute headway all day. With the KC Streetcar, circulating around downtown is very convenient but within downtown St. Louis, it is not as easy. We do have Metrolink but the stops in downtown are limited. Why was service reduced? Any plans to expand to restore service? These days since the reduction, ridership is extremely low from my personal observations. It's also not convenient to ride it in a loop since there is a long layover at Union Station.
  • Vil,

    Service on the #99 Downtown Trolley has decreased during periods of lower ridership, in part to allow the route to be extended further west. Additional frequency could only be accomplished with additional resources or by reducing service elsewhere. MetroLink does provide frequent service in Downtown, and many Downtown destinations are in close proximity to MetroLink.
  • Coming from other cities, Metro seems very bare basic. I'd like to see route numbers on the rear of buses. Also, automated announcement of all stops for buses. Metro is the only system I can think of right now that has so little lettering on their paint scheme. Maybe a rebranding is needed in the future.
  • Vil,

    We do not have any near-term plans to repaint Metro buses. With over 400 buses in our fleet, this would require considerable effort and resources and the exteriors of the buses are in very good condition. We have installed wraps on specially-branded routes, and new service types such as bus rapid transit, if implemented, would have a unique brand.
  • Vil,

    Each service change we monitor on-time performance and make adjustments where we are consistently behind schedule (this does not include accidents in the roadway, temporary construction, etc.). I’m pleased to report that MetroBus service is on time over 90% of the time, which is excellent for service that does not operate in its own right of way. If you are consistently experiencing a delay greater than five minutes, we’d like to hear about it.
  • Are the updated schedules effective Aug 22 a result of looking at bus running times? Will customers see a benefit or will it mostly be a reflection of the current travel times? Sort of a matching of the schedule to actual service?
  • While we are on the subject of Downtown Trolley, the next time you print the brochure, please put the route number on it. Since you are using generic buses, even tho you have enough wrapped buses, and the headsign no longer says Downtown Trolley, there needs to be a link between the brochure and the bus. The route number on the brochure would do that.
  • Downtown Resident,

    The print schedules for the #99 Downtown Trolley do include the route number, but I will request that the marketing brochures also include this information.
  • Divide By Zero,

    Platform announcements can be made very quickly from our control center. I will pass along your comment about your experience on July 13 at the Central West End MetroLink Station.
  • How long does it take you to push alert messages to the stations? I ask because on 7/13, you stopped Blue line trains at Forest Park due to the storm. I was waiting at Central West End for a Blue line train for a good long time before I decided to check your Twitter and find out I needed to take a Red line train to FP. Why was that info not transmitted on the station speakers? If passengers didn't check Twitter, they had to wait unnecessarily for a Blue train that wasn't coming. Isn't that what the alert system is for? Relatedly, the audible versus the text transcript of the alert is so uncoordinated. Can that be improved?
  • Keep up the good work, you Metro St. Louis is probably the most on-time system I have seen. I just wish service was more frequent so connections are better between routes, sometimes the waiting is the longest part of a trip!
  • In response to Mr. Villa's request to put route numbers on the back of the buses, the only thing this tells you is weather you should run for the bus or not. The bus will probably pull away before you get there even if you run, so the route number on the back of the bus just adds to your frustration.
  • Concerned,

    Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I will look into this contact and ensure that the incident was investigated and you receive a response.
  • Over a month ago, I witnessed one of your Call-A-Ride buses speeding excessively down I-64. I wrote two emails to customer service, one the next day and one a couple weeks back, and received no response to my concern. So was I ignored or is your customer service contact system broken? I think the number of the bus was #4520 but I can't remember the day at this point.
  • Thank you for a lively chat this afternoon, St. Louis! We'll be back next month. In the mean time, you may always reach out to us via customerservice@metrostlouis.org, via Facebook or Twiitter, or by phone at 314-982-1406.
  • More funding for Metro bus and Metrolink please State government!
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