Metro Transit announced it experienced a record number of MetroLink boardings, more than 100,000, on Saturday, June 15, as the bi-state region came to St. Louis to celebrate the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Championship with a parade downtown followed by a huge rally on the Gateway Arch grounds. To put that in perspective, boardings on the 46-mile light rail system on a normal Saturday of service in June without a sporting event or major concert, are approximately 25,000.
“We were proud to play an important role in getting people to and from the special celebrations downtown on Saturday. Thank you, fans, for bringing your patience and great attitudes as you shared full MetroLink trains with hundreds of other excited Blues hockey fans,” said Taulby Roach, President & CEO of Bi-State Development. “It was our pleasure to serve you. We appreciate your trust and confidence in our transit system and we hope to see you back on the train soon, taking it or MetroBus to work, going to a baseball game or to Fair Saint Louis next month.”
Previous single event day high volume boardings in recent years were recorded for Game 7 of the 2011 World Series (Cardinals vs. Rangers), at more than 86,000 boardings. Two other single day events with extremely high boardings were related to Fair Saint Louis. On July 4, 2014, with Fair Saint Louis crowds at Forest Park, the boardings were approximately 85,000, and on July 4, 2013, with fairgoers at the Gateway Arch grounds, boardings were approximately 84,000.
“Saturday was a great day for Metro Transit, and for the Blues, the city and the region. We dedicated all of our resources to efficiently transport an incredibly large crowd to and from the festivities in downtown St. Louis,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, Executive Director of Metro Transit. “I am so proud of our transit team and of our customers, many of which who were first-time riders. We are a great option, not just for special events, but every day. More customers are choosing Metro to avoid construction, because we make it easy to plan your trip on Transit app or Google map.”
In preparation of large crowds expected to take MetroLink to the Stanley Cup Championship Parade and Rally, Metro Transit and MetroLink police partners scheduled extra security, dozens of additional transit operations personnel, Customer Service representatives and volunteer employee ambassadors to assist riders, many of whom were first time MetroLink passengers. Extra trains were put into service earlier than anticipated Saturday morning to transport the large crowds gathering at MetroLink stations in Illinois and especially in Missouri.
Express bus shuttles were quickly implemented to help alleviate some of the MetroLink overcrowding at several St. Louis County stations and the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station. More than 90 express trips were operated between our busiest MetroLink stations and downtown to serve more than 7,000 boardings.
To avoid long ticket lines, MetroLink customers were encouraged to purchase their round-trip MetroLink tickets in advance by using the Metro Mobile app on their mobile devices. More than 11,000 mobile tickets were purchased Friday and Saturday. The Metro Mobile app is a pilot program that can be used on Cardinals home game days and the Forest Park Explorer.