Metro is inviting the public to three upcoming events as it prepares to resume MetroBus service to the Civic Center Transit Center, which is Metro’s transit hub in downtown St. Louis. Two of the events will provide opportunities for Metro riders and the public to visit the newly-redesigned transit center before MetroBus goes back into service there on August 14. Here is a look at the upcoming special events:
Metro will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday, July 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the St. Louis City Hall Rotunda at 1200 Market Street. It will be an informal, open-house style event so anyone can stop by for a few minutes to learn more about the expansion project from Metro employees. MetroBus riders will be able to find out where they will be catching their buses at the new transit center beginning August 14 and they can hear about the customer-friendly features including the indoor waiting area and restrooms.
On Thursday, August 10, at 10 a.m. regional leaders, transit leaders and the public will gather for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony and news conference at the Civic Center Transit Center. Since MetroBus service to the Civic Center Transit Center will not resume until August 14 and there is no Park-Ride lot at the Civic Center Transit Center, the public is encouraged to take any of the 16 MetroBus routes that serve Clark Avenue at 18th Street near the Union Station MetroLink Station. From there, it is a short two-block walk east to the Civic Center. The easiest transit option is to take MetroLink to the Civic Center Station where the event will be held.
Metro has planned a Public Open House at the Civic Center Transit Center for Friday, August 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fredbird and Louie will stop by and there will be food trucks, live music and an art bus painting. To make it easier to get there, Metro will offer a Ride Free Transit Zone in downtown St. Louis from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The #99 Downtown Trolley will be free between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and those who board MetroLink between the Laclede’s Landing Station and the Union Station MetroLink Station will also ride free between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day. The MetroLink stations in the Ride Free Zone are the Laclede’s Landing Station, Convention Center Station, 8th & Pine Station, Stadium Station, Civic Center Station and Union Station MetroLink Station. Take MetroLink to the Civic Center Station to get to the fun and festivities. When Open House visitors are ready to leave, they can get on the train for free at the Civic Center Station and hop off at any of the downtown stations. However, MetroLink riders travelling outside of the downtown stations will still need to have valid fare to take MetroLink.
On Monday, August 14, MetroBus service returns to the Civic Center Transit Center. All 23 MetroBus routes that serve downtown St. Louis will connect with MetroLink and Metro Call-A-Ride service at the Civic Center Transit Center. *Four existing MetroBus routes will be split into eight new routes, and these shorter routes will provide passengers with more direct service and better reliability. The new indoor customer waiting area will officially open on August 14, and MetroBus and MetroLink riders will be able to purchase concessions at the transit center. Metro ambassadors and Metro managers will welcome back MetroBus passengers and offer special assistance August 14, August 15 and August 16 as they learn to navigate the new bus route areas.
Construction began in April 2016. Metro was awarded federal funding for the expansion project, and that funding supported 80 percent of the total project cost of $10.5 million. The transit center at 14th and Spruce Streets in downtown St. Louis previously housed nine MetroBus bays, with a total of 16 routes connecting with MetroLink. For the past 15 months, construction crews have been transforming the Metro property into a transit center accommodating 19 bus bays serving 23 MetroBus routes and Metro Call-A-Ride. The transit center was redesigned for future transit need so it could easily be modified for both 60-foot buses and electric buses. Among the new features for Metro customers is an indoor climate-controlled waiting area with restrooms, digital bus arrival-time boards and a concession area. MetroBus managers and Metro Public Safety Department team members will be stationed at the transit center. The Civic Center MetroLink Station has remained open to serve light rail customers during the construction project.
*Beginning August 14, the #40 Broadway MetroBus route will become the #20 South Broadway and the #40 North Broadway. The #32 ML King Chouteau MetroBus route will become the #32 ML King and the #31 Chouteau. The #30 Soulard MetroBus route will change to the #19 St. Louis Avenue and the #30 Arsenal and the #99 Downtown Trolley will become the #96 Market Street Shuttle and the #99 Downtown Trolley. For more information about the new routes, call 314-231-2345 or 618-271-2345 Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Metro is the operator of the St. Louis region’s public transportation system, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; approximately 400 vehicle MetroBus fleet that operates on 80 MetroBus routes in Missouri and Illinois; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 122 vans. Metro is an enterprise of Bi-State Development (BSD), which also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport, the Bi-State Development Research Institute, the Gateway Arch Riverboats, and operates the Gateway Arch Trams and Revenue Collections Center. BSD also operates the St. Louis Regional Freightway.