Metro is enforcing its no-smoking policy through signage and verbal enforcement by our contract security guards and Public Safety Officers. We have also provided smoking receptacles at specific locations within the public right-of-way (typically nearby sidewalks). Prior to Metro going smoke free at all of our stations and transit centers, our platforms were smoke free and we opened Civic Center Transit Center as a smoke-free facility on August 14. I am pleased to report that the transition to a smoke-free campus at Civic Center has been pretty successful. Our personnel directs smokers to the dedicated location, and with each passing day this model becomes more accepted. Metro made this choice to become smoke-free so that we can create an attractive, comfortable and safe environment for all our customers.
Thank you for your feedback regarding your desire to see an elevator included at the Civic Center Transit Center. I understand your concern about the stairs and ramp; both were constructed to overcome the elevation change between street-level and the MetroLink platform. An outdoor elevator was considered, however was not ultimately included due to budgetary constraints and concerns about the reliability of outdoor elevators and escalators, especially in the St. Louis region’s 4-season climate. We are installing a center rail on the stairway to improve the ease of use.
I apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced at our Downtown Station escalators. The escalators at 8th & Pine and Convention Center MetroLink Stations are part of the original MetroLink alignment, and are nearing the end of their useful life. We are currently reviewing replacement options for this equipment, as well as other repairs and upgrades. Metro endeavors to maintain this equipment in a state of good repair, which requires that each year we close the escalators for a period of about one week to provide deep cleaning. Other delays occur when parts required for repairs are sourced- recent repairs required waiting a period of weeks before these specialized parts could be sourced. The reliability, cost and time associated with maintaining this equipment make a compelling case for relying on ramps, where design and space allow.
There are two separate efforts on the horizon for exploring MetroLink expansion options for the St. Louis region. East-West Gateway Council of Governments, on behalf of the City of St. Louis, is currently leading a conceptual design study focused on furthering planning and design for a Northside-Southside MetroLink expansion. This project, which will end in spring 2018, is intended to create a refined plan for cost, ridership, and constructability for this project. St. Louis County also plans to lead a study that would assess the costs and benefits of three different potential light rail corridors. Following the conclusion of this work, regional leadership will prioritize a corridor to further develop.
Thank you for your questions today! We look forward to transporting local residents and visitors to events this weekend, including to LouFest. Metro is a convenient way to get there while avoiding street closures, traffic jams and parking issues. Riders can purchase round-trip transit tickets and hop on MetroLink or MetroBus to arrive at the events this weekend.