Without a Dispatch Center, a bus transit system cannot function efficiently. So, for this week’s Flashback Friday I wanted to highlight the folks behind the scenes of the bus operation in St. Louis.
In this photo from the Museum of Transportation, you can see an unidentified St. Louis company’s Dispatcher’s office in 1946. According to Andrew D. Young’s St. Louis and Its Streetcars, the dark black lines on the large map are streetcar routes. The fainter lines on the map are bus routes.
Fast forward to today: The photo below shows MetroBus Communication Center employees monitoring video, radio and Automatic Vehicle Locator systems.
Radio Dispatchers are responsible for the complete management of all Metro external and support personnel engaged in the provision of safe, timely service to our customers. The Radio Dispatchers manage and direct the work of Bus Operators, Transit Service Managers, Road Supervisors, Maintenance and Revenue staff in support of daily revenue service. They manage all events, special services, emergency management support that may cause service impacts to Metro buses.
Later this year Metro will celebrate 50 years of operating public transit buses in St. Louis.