Sunday, February 22, 2009

Metro Epiphany

So I was lucky enough to make a transfer in my company to a place much closer to the city. My progressive employer is generous enough to run shuttle buses from it's west county campus to the Clayton Metrolink stop. I am overjoyed with the service I've experienced in the month I've been using public transport.

  • clean as a whistle
  • bounty of parking spaces at Shrewsbury Metrolink stop
  • lots of other riders = safe environment
  • amazingly on-time
  • nice people
  • nice metro employees
Regarding nice metro employees, I witnessed one "ticket checker/station attendant" come onto the train right as it was departing to ask everyone how their morning was going. He proceeded to wish us a good day and let everyone know that he won't be around the next couple of days because he was taking some time off to visit with his Grandma. He smiled and said, "see you good people on Monday". Many on the train had a smile. I know that's kinda hokie, but it was sweet. It was something that separates St. Louis from the short times I've spent in Boston, Chicago and New York riding their public transport. In STL, you get a more personal touch. In STL, you are part of a club if you use public transport.

Regarding nice people: I can't help but overhear some conversations. One day, Metro was handing out the revised service routes due to the Prop. M ballot measure that failed in St. Louis County. Many riders were bitching at "the County" in general for voting down the Metro funding. It was interesting to hear many inner suburb residents and riders dissing the outer reaches of St. Louis county as public transit haters. It just goes to show there is very little solidarity amongst municipalities in the burbs. Unfortunately, St. Louis suffers as a result of this.

Anyhow, I am ashamed to say that I have lived in St. Louis for 14 years and have never ridden a Metro bus. Once I-64 reopens, my company will be discontinuing it's shuttle service from the Clayton Metrolink. I will consider my bus options to hook up from the Clayton stop to the place of work. It's a little daunting to try the bus, though. I know it's naive, but how do you pay? How do you stop the bus? These are all rookie questions that I hope to answer in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. You stand at the stop, which is typically (and hopefully) marked with a signature blue Metro sign.

    The bus stops at the sign automatically whenever someone on the bus requests it OR whenever the driver sees a customer waiting at the stop.

    You step on with your, what is it now there, 2 bucks, and insert each dollar into the machine in front of the bus driver. Voila! Take your seat. If you need a transfer, pay the extra money (25 cents? 50?) and ask for a transfer pass.

    There's Bus 101!