Talk to Metro about its new official app

Talk to Metro about its new official app

We're ready for your questions and comments today as we head into April. There's lots to be excited about: baseball is starting up and Metro releases its first official app – Metro On The Go – this week. The app is free to download on an Android or iOS device and allows you access to Trip Planner, all of our MetroLink and MetroBus schedules and real-time MetroBus vehicle location data – all in the palm of your hand. Check our blog entry at:

    Good Afternoon, St. Louis! We're looking forward to our discussion today. On update- if you haven’t already seen it, Metro released a new mobile trip planning application this week. “Metro on the Go” is now available for download free on both Apple and Android platforms. Metro’s TripPlanner is now also available in a mobile version on any platform. Check it out here.
    Are there any plans to offer real-time tracking of the MetroLink via the app?
    At this time MetroLink trains are not equipped with the same automated vehicle location (AVL) technology as MetroBus vehicles; it is this technology that drives the availability of real-time MetroBus information. At this time, we use a different system which tracks the location of MetroLink vehicles by track segment, rather than latitude / longitude. There are some barriers to using AVL (which requires satellite availability) on the MetroLink system, however we are actively exploring its potential application with the same vendor that supports this technology on MetroBus. In the meantime, “Metro on the Go” does combine scheduled and real-time MetroBus information with MetroLink schedule information, and you can feel confident in your trip planning because MetroLink is on time more than 95% of the time.
    Hello and thank you for taking questions. Regarding the app, it's pretty nice. I haven't used it for real trip planning but should make it easier.

    Something that I would suggest - make a way for people to be able to discretely (i.e. via text/web/app) report things like assault, smoking on the train, gambling, harassment, or other nuisance or dangerous issues. Tag them with GPS coordinates, timestamp, etc. Use the data not only to alert security at the next station, but aggregate data on which lines/times/stations cause the most issues so you can proactively address the surge of violence and crime on Metrolink.

    Second question - can cameras on the trains be viewed live remotely? If so, the aforementioned app could direct security to witness what's going on so that proper instructions can be made to the metrolink operator, e.g. to hold the car at the next station.
    Security on trains is obviously a touchpoint at this time, but it's always a good time to stress considerate behavior among riders. Why not engage in a poster campaign that gently reminds passengers to move themselves and their belongings over so that other passengers can ease into their seats? I think that people need some visual aids in this regard. Also a reminder that bikes need to be in the space designated for them and that riders should get out of those spaces when passengers and their bikes get on.
    Does the app enable riders to post a message about immediate security issues? Or could you consider setting up a text message recipient to receive and manage security issued texts in real time? I have had several times on the train when I wished I could text security about an issue happening 4 feet away from me, when I certainly am not going to call anyone, as that could put me a risk of retaliation from someone overhearing me. This seems like an easy, cost-efficient way to give riders a tool to help! - I'm a daily MetroLink rider, and generally love it. Thanks!
    I am noticing people selling CDs, soliciting gambling, playing loud music. I come across train operators who enforce loud music rule but there are operators who ignore those riders who play loud music. How can we tackle this? Can we have community scouts who can report this kind of behavior to security in real-time in an inconspicuous way? Please help!!
    Hello Chris, Laura NH, hoipeloy and Aligo,

    You’ve all made valid suggestions and comments regarding safety and security aboard the Metro system, which I’ll address here:

    1. Metro has a “See Something Say Something” campaign that includes signage on the system inviting customers to call 314-289-6873 to report illegal, dangerous or nuisance behavior on the transit system. We have explored the possibility of a text feature and have discussed this with local police, but that’s very difficult to implement technologically and respond to in real time. Onboard vehicles, in addition to the Security Dispatch number above, security personnel onboard or at stations and the MetroBus or MetroLink operator are available to you. Aboard MetroLink, the you may reach out to the Operator directly via the “Call Operator” push button at the end of each car.

    2. We are currently testing a program internally. The greatest barrier to implementation is being able to provide the resources (staff) to receive and respond to customer contacts in real time. We are currently working with our own Public Safety Department; our contract Securitas security force; and the local jurisdictions we contract with for police services, including the City of St. Louis Police; St. Louis County Police; and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department. We agree that creating a direct link between Metro customers and Public Safety is critical.

    3. The cameras aboard MetroLink and MetroBus vehicles do not provide a live video feed to Metro’s Public Safety Control Center; these feeds are recorded and retrieved at a later time. At peak, Metro has over 300 vehicles in operation, which produces a tremendous volume of data. Metro does have fixed and panning cameras at its MetroLink Stations and Transit Centers which do feed live directly to the Public Safety Control Center. Metro does track safety and security incidents reported by our Public Safety Department and local police entities, as well as customer contacts received by our Customer Service Department. We analyze this information for content, and occurrence in space and time. We are currently working with our Public Safety team to use this information to drive targeted patrols across the transit system.

    4. A few years ago, Metro operated a “Respect Your Ride” campaign, which included signage across the system reminding customers to avoid nuisance behaviors that may be offensive to fellow customers and damaging to Metro property. We are discussing a re-launch of some version of such a campaign, perhaps with enhanced communication opportunities including greater promotion of the Security Dispatch phone number.
    Hi, so back in March during a friday evening snow storm, a metro bus pushed a concrete barrier near my apartment out of the way when it ran up onto the sidewalk at Hodiamont and Plymouth, were you planning on putting the barrier back into place? I mean, your bus did push it...
    West End,
    I will pass your comment along to our Maintenance of Way department for investigation and response. If you'd like a follow up response, please reach out to Metro Customer Service at to provide your contact information.
    Is Metro doing anything regarding the now-increased traffic on Pershing due to the DeBaliviere/Forest Park MetroLink construction?
    The traffic relief and MetroBus re-route plan related to the Loop Trolley Construction project is coordinated and reviewed by the City of St. Louis Streets Department, the Loop Trolley team and Metro. Traffic on surrounding streets, including Pershing, will increase during reconstruction of the DeBaliviere Bridge.
    Thanks for releasing much awaited "On the GO" app. Do you have an idea when you would be releasing the next version?
    Aligo- an updated app timeline would be dependent on need.
    Does the app show live gps locations of buses? I don't seem to see anything on the app
    Yes, the app does offer a real-time map. Go to “Next Departures”, select the stop you are interested in, then select the “map” tab if you would like to see this information displayed visually. If multiple routes serve your stop, you will need to select your desired route at the bottom of the map.
    How many cititions were issued last year for passengers without validated tickets on MetroLink trains?
    In the year ending June 30, 2014, there were over 17,000 summons issued for all violations (fare, noise, bad behavior.) The significant majority of these are for fare issues.

    Metro is exploring opportunities to improve the speed of some of our busiest arterial routes. Likely options for improving speed include traffic signal prioritization; limited stops; and our forthcoming smart card fare payment system, which will offer more streamlined fare payment at the time of boarding.
    Understand. So far the app looks pretty good.
    Are you taking questions on other topics? If so, has Metro considered providing "express" service on any bus lines.
    Sorry didn't get to finish my thought. A lot of the the issues myself and others have with taking Metro is that it is slow compared to just driving. It would be great if those trips could be sped up if only during rush hour or weekends. Would you consider doing express buses on a few lines like the Hampton or Grand to connect buses more quickly to Metrolink?
    It would be helpful to allow you to choose your stop from a list of menus. This helps when transfering buses and you may not be close to the area you are getting off at. In the app, it is hard to choose a stop unless you had GPS on. Please look into this option for a future release or update.
    Vil Villa, Metro offers a mobile version of its "Trip Planner" program. This program may be more appropriate if you would like to plan a trip from a mobile devise either without the use of GPS or for a location you are not near at the time you access the program. Here is a link to the trip planner.
    What impact will trolley construction have on the 97 route and schedule?
    Interruptions to MetroBus service will be episodic for routes operating on Delmar and DeBaliviere. Metro is working with the Loop Trolley project team and City of St. Louis Streets Department to minimize the impact to our customers. Specific information about re-route path and schedules will be available in advance of each service interruption. The specific timing and duration of those re-routes will depend on the Loop Trolley project schedule, which is in progress.
    been using the new iphone app. good stuff, particularly next bus location. Q: Is there a way to refresh bus location without closing and reopening app. Has been accurate at showing bus' location when I open, but doesnt move unless I close app completely and reopen. correct?
    You can refresh the bus location without closing the app by going back to the screen where you select your stop, and re-selecting the stop. This will update the position of the bus.
    like the new app. Is it possible to refresh bus locations without closing and reopening app? Seems very accurate locating bus when first opened. Doesn't appear to move bus location like desktop version. If I close app completely and restart, can get new location.
    Is anything in place to help prevent the re-sale of transfers and tickets to riders? I see this daily at the Delmar and CWE stops in front of the ticket machines. Security is usually nearby but does not make any effort to stop it.
    The new card system we will be putting in place will eliminate the paper transfer altogether. The smart cards will have value beyond the same day to the users who are discarding the paper transfers that are then being resold….. Buyer beware, there is also some counterfeiting going on, and we will prosecute when we come across such tickets… As far as your observations about guards watching it happen, I will pass that info onto out Chief of Public Safety.
    Hello. Any plans in the future to take Metrolink south from Shrewsbury? Will there be extra Security on board for the upcoming Cardinal season? There will be a lot of riders soon as the season begins on April 13. Thanks....
    The MetroLink Blue Line, which terminates at the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station, was constructed such that technically it could be extended southward. Any extension of MetroLink, including this “Metro South” corridor would require a decision by regional leadership to advance the study and design of this project. To date, Metro has not been tasked with advancing Metro South. The greatest barrier to any expansion of MetroLink is the significant capital and operating cost required to do so. That said, our regional leadership does have periodic conversations regarding possible MetroLink expansions.
    Thanks on the refresh info. was only going back one step, should've gone two. So far very pleased with new app, gave it quite a workout the past two days.
    I think everyone is aware of general increase in criminal issues happening across the Metropolitan area. Public Transit is not immune. Actual crime on the MetroLink system is still well below the average of the area we serve. However we remain committed to protecting our customers and staff despite the increase in crime around the region.
    Metro contracts with the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County officers, security guards and fare inspectors, as well as employs a staff of public safety officers. More than 200 people are assigned to protect our system. Our partnership with law enforcement results in a very high incident of arrests for people committing crime on our system. Through the use of video surveillance and the fast actions of our guards and operators we work to make sure that crime doesn’t pay when committed on our system.
    In addition to the work we already do to keep customers safe, we are working with law enforcement to increase their patrols of our system. As a result, there are more patrols this week than last, and there will be more next week as well.
    When are we going to visibly see improvement in safety on the train. IT is getting VERY dangerous and since my contact with your company as well as last Weeks beating of the individual, there has been no change. I haven't seen a security guard on the train in at least six months. Seriously, I haven't seen anything since the start of the fall semester.
    You are aware when you contact your little number there the criminals know and then that makes YOU a target simply for trying to make a safe ride. There should be officers on EACH train and not your security, I see them letting people slide without passes all the time. And like I said earlier, I haven't seen one in MONTHS!
    What are you guys doing about security on the Metro stations in particular Forest Park station. I take the train daily to work and not a day goes by when there is either urine in the elevator, people selling or smoking marijuana near the elevator or the bus bench or someone is trying to sell you a transfer while the security guards stand by and let it happen. The really sad thing is that its the same people and security has to know what they are doing if I see it.
    Metro patrols the Forest Park DeBaliviere MetroLink Station, including the platform and surface access to the platform. We rely on the City of St. Louis police force to make arrests on and off the Metro transit system (see response below to Philip for more on this). We also work with the local community, including the police and the alderman, to improve public safety at the Forest Park DeBaliviere MetroLink Station. We are currently working with our public safety partners to increase patrols, including at the Forest Park DeBaliviere MetroLink Station.
    Why not full time security at every metrolink stop?
    With respect to loud music aboard, can at least operators listen into all the cars at random times using some kind of technology and enfore the rule?
    The recent unprovoked attack on the MetroLink was disturbing and troubling, even though I realize it was an isolated and rare incident. I am a daily rider and rarely see major problems like that; it's usually the loud music or eating/drinking smoking. How often are undercover security/police riding, as mentioned on some of your ads? I know security/police cannot be everywhere to deter violations/crime, but what should one do when your uniformed platform security are often burying their noses in their phones in full view?
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