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September 17, 2014 | 3 Comments

New Transit Center to Transform MetroBus Service in North County

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North County Transit Center rendering

Update: We’ve included a link to an online survey for those customers unable to attend our three informal meetings. 

Metro transit is inviting MetroBus customers and the public to learn more about the new North St. Louis County Transit Center at three upcoming informal meetings.

The new transit center, which is scheduled to open in fall 2015, will be located at 3140 Pershall Road between West Florissant Avenue and New Halls Ferry Road in Ferguson. The new MetroBus facility will feature an indoor passenger waiting area, public restrooms, concessions and a free Park-Ride lot.

The new Metro transit hub will transform bus service in the North St. Louis County, which is one of Metro’s fastest growing public transit markets. It accounts for 19 percent of MetroBus and MetroLink ridership.

Since North County MetroBus routes will change when the new transit center opens, the open-house style meetings will be an opportunity for customers to help plan and shape MetroBus service.  There will be no formal presentations so Metro employees can talk with MetroBus riders about their transit needs in North County. Riders will be encouraged to discuss options on how MetroBus routes should connect with this new facility and the surrounding communities.

The dates, times and locations of the Metro meetings are as follows:

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley Student Center
3400 Pershall Road 
September 30    
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
North Hanley MetroLink Station
4398 Hanley Road
October 2      
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
 
Riverview-Hall Transit Center
9021 Riverview Drive
October 7      
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.    
 

If you’re unable to attend any of the three informal meetings, you can fill out an online survey.

The second phase of the project will add a new maintenance facility for MetroBus vehicles and Metro Call-A-Ride vans. Federal funding must be secured before those plans can move forward.

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3 thoughts on “New Transit Center to Transform MetroBus Service in North County”

  1. One of the main reasons I moved out of north county was because the bus service there is completely unusable. And I can boil my complaint down to one suggestion:

    Run smaller buses more often.

    Seriously, a bus that runs every 45 minutes (or worse, once an hour) might as well not run at all. Nobody can afford to wait outside for 45 minutes or longer for a transfer because a bus just left, and only the most desperate will try. Transit systems all over the world have studied the issue, and this is the number one thing that people judge their bus service by–not by how pretty and new the buses are, not even how clean they are or how polite the drivers are, none of that matters if there isn’t a bus going past their stop every 20 minutes.

    1. MatthewHibbard says:

      We agree that more frequent service would be a tremendous benefit for our customers, across the entire service area. Unfortunately, even with smaller vehicles we could not afford to dramatically increase service frequency across the transit system.

      The largest expense for transit providers is labor including operators, mechanics, supervisions, etc.; these costs vary little in price with the size of the vehicle. That said, we are researching opportunities to deploy slightly smaller vehicles on select routes where passenger loads (all day) would permit less capacity. Any savings achieved from these changes would be devoted to more transit service.

      We do concentrate service frequency where it is most demanded, typically in dense urban areas. This poses challenges for providing frequent service across a large, dispersed region like St. Louis.

      In response to the needs of our service area, we have created a “hub and spoke” transit network structure, similar to that of the airline and freight industries. In this approach, we collect customers from across the region, and for many trips we re-distribute them on different routes which convene at “hubs”, which are MetroBus Transit Centers and MetroLink Stations.

      We will soon begin construction on a new North County Transit Center at 3140 Pershall Road, between West Florissant and New Halls Ferry Roads. In addition to offering a fantastic package of customer amenities, we will orient service in such a way that transfer times are minimized as much as possible.

  2. MatthewHibbard says:

    The #70 Grand Line recently the first route to receive 60’ buses and we look forward to deploying similar vehicles elsewhere in the MetroBus system in the future. We continue to monitor service and make adjustments as quickly as our resources allow.

    We have seen tremendous improvements in crowding conditions on the #70 Grand Line since the 60’ buses began in service over the past several months.

    Metro invests all of its available operating resources into service. We strive to match service levels with demand to the extent possible, and when we do add service we have to save that money elsewhere in the transit system.

    Every three months we make adjustments to service- including modifying schedules so that routes are on time, adding trips where required (and funds have been made available), reducing trips where we can afford to, etc. In fact, we’re making several changes to service on December 1, including adding some trips to routes where they are most needed.

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