Enjoy Free Weekend Rides on the Forest Park Explorer
Visitors can enjoy everything that Forest Park has to offer this summer, conveniently and comfortably, by hopping on the Forest Park Explorer. Previously called the Forest Park Trolley, the fleet of buses that move between the attractions in Forest Park provide a great option for residents, families and tourists who want to visit Forest Park and its many attractions, while staying out of the heat and helping reduce traffic congestion in the 1,300-acre park.
This year, there’s an even better reason to take advantage of the Forest Park Explorer: Free rides for everyone on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer season.
The Forest Park Explorer begins its ninth season in service on Friday, May 3. Riders have two Explorer routes to choose from, depending on their destination. The Blue Forest Park Explorer route serves the western side of Forest Park, with stops at the World’s Fair Pavilion, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum and Emerson Grand Basin. The Green Forest Park Explorer route serves the eastern side of Forest Park, with stops at the Jewel Box, the Saint Louis Science Center and Planetarium. Both Explorer routes begin at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station, and both routes serve the Missouri History Museum, Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center, the Boathouse and The Muny stops.
The Forest Park Explorer (MetroBus route #3) will operate daily between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Friday, May 3, through Monday, September 2, 2019. The Blue Trolley route operates every 15 minutes on weekdays and weekends, and the Green Trolley route operates every 30 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes during the weekend. Both routes are free to ride on Saturdays and Sundays this season.
On all other days, tickets for the Forest Park Explorer are just $2 for adults; $1 for children (ages 5-12), seniors and disabled passengers; and the Explorer is free for children ages 4 and under. A Forest Park Explorer ticket provides all-day riding privileges on both the Blue and Green Forest Park Explorer routes. A valid Metro Reduced Fare permit is required for the Senior and Disabled discount.
A convenient Park & Ride option is available for visitors inside Forest Park at the Visitor Center Lot across from the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center. Guests can park their cars on this free lot and then hop aboard the Forest Park Explorer for a quick and easy trip to their desired Forest Park destinations. In addition, there are free Park-Ride lots at 21 MetroLink stations in Missouri and Illinois. Park visitors can ride MetroLink to the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station and then catch either the Blue Forest Park Explorer or the Green Forest Park Explorer at the station, depending on the attractions they want to visit first.
The Forest Park Explorer service is made possible through a partnership between Forest Park Forever, Metro Transit, Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Science Center, Saint Louis Zoo and the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
Forest Park Explorer Tips
- One-Day Explorer tickets can be purchased on the Explorer (exact change is required), at the Forest Perk Café inside the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center, and at the Planetarium Ticket Station at the Saint Louis Science Center. Each ticket allows unlimited rides on the Forest Park Explorer for the day the fare is purchased.
- Valid Metro passes are acceptable fares for the Forest Park Explorer. Visitors who are combining MetroLink or MetroBus with the Forest Park Explorer should consider purchasing the Metro Adventure Pass. Available at Metro Ticket Vending Machines located at all MetroLink stations, the Metro Adventure Pass provides unlimited rides on MetroLink, MetroBus, Forest Park Explorer and Downtown Trolley for one day for $7.50 — an easy way for visitors to explore Forest Park and other attractions in the region.
- Forest Park Explorer tickets and the Metro Adventure Pass can also be purchased at the MetroStore, located at the corner of 8th and Pine Streets in downtown St. Louis. The MetroStore is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Check the sign on the front of the bus before you board. Forest Park Explorer vehicles coming from the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station are identified as Green – To Science Center or Blue – To Zoo depending on the route. Forest Park Explorer vehicles heading toward the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station are identified as Green – To Forest Park MetroLink Station or Blue – To Forest Park MetroLink Station.
- The Forest Park Explorer is fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Bicycle racks on the front of the Forest Park Explorer vehicles can hold two bicycles.
Additional Traffic Support for Forest Park
The Forest Park Explorer operated by Metro Transit is an important resource toward alleviating traffic in Forest Park this summer. On especially busy days, a Traffic Relief Route will also be implemented. When traffic is particularly heavy at Forest Park’s popular Hampton entrance, Park Rangers will put this Relief Route into motion. This effort is done in coordination with the
Missouri Department of Transportation to reduce backups and closures on Interstate 64 at Hampton Avenue. The Traffic Relief Route will direct drivers from Hampton through the Park past many available parking locations. After parking, visitors may then hop on the Forest Park Explorer to reach their final destinations.
#90 Hampton MetroBus
The #90 Hampton MetroBus route will not operate in Forest Park on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the Forest Park Explorer is in operation. The route will instead detour around Forest Park via Skinker Boulevard. During these times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, riders on the #90 Hampton will need to transfer to the Forest Park Explorer to be able to access stops inside Forest Park.
About Metro Transit
Metro Transit operates the St. Louis region’s public transportation system which includes 400 clean-burning diesel buses that serve 83 MetroBus routes in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois. Metro also operates MetroLink light rail vehicles on 46 miles of track serving 38 stations in the two-state area, and operates Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 122 vans. Metro Transit is a Bi-State Development enterprise.
About Forest Park Forever
Founded in 1986, Forest Park Forever is a private nonprofit conservancy that works in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s greatest urban public parks, now and forever. Along with the City of St. Louis, Forest Park Forever raised $100 million between 1995 and 2003 and dramatically restored many landmark destinations in Forest Park, including the Emerson Grand Basin, the Boathouse and the Jewel Box. Today, Forest Park Forever maintains Forest Park with the City of St. Louis; raises funds for and helps manage capital restoration projects called for in the Forest Park Master Plan; delivers experiential educational opportunities to teachers, students and adults; and provides information and guides for the Park’s 13 million annual visitors. Forest Park Forever is supported by private donations from throughout the community, including its 8,000 members, 1,300+ volunteers and many leading community and corporate partners.