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November 4, 2010

Metro’s Long-Range Plan Wins 2nd Place in International Innovative Public Participation Awards

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OK, so this has been a week of tooting our own horns. But this news definitely merits recognition given the many, many people and hard work involved — including by many of our readers and partnering organizations.

At a recent awards presentation in Scarborough, England, Metro was honored by the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) for the level of participation by the public in the development of Moving Transit Forward, the plan that offers a menu of transit solutions to meet the St. Louis region’s needs over the next three decades. IAP2 honored projects from New South Wales and Logan City, Australia; Vancouver, Canada; Washington D.C. and Phoenix, AR. For IAP2’s Innovation Award, Metro placed second behind TransLink, the transit agency for Vancouver.

Director of Service Planning Lance Peterson at the Mehlville Public Meeting

Working with the East-West Gateway Council of Governments to develop the region’s first long-range transit plan, Metro provided more opportunities for the public to contribute than ever in its 60-year history.

Chief of Planning & System Development Jessica Mefford-Miller at the St. Louis City Hall Public Meeting

They included:

  • 22 public meetings
  • More than 150 presentations to business, civic, advocacy, and neighborhood groups
  • An advisory group of regional elected officials, business leaders, representatives of community organizations, and other regional agencies
  • An executive committee that engaged local elected leaders and other regional leaders from Missouri and Illinois
  • An interactive Web site
  • Its first blog – Nextstop!
  • Webinars
  • Facebook page
  • Twitter

The result was a plan that provides practical, realistic, and financially feasible options for expanding transit services and introducing new services, such as Bus Rapid Transit and MetroLink corridors.

Transit Rider Justin Chick at the Mehlville Public Meeting

For all of the hard work involved in creating the long-range plan, we still have much work to do.  Many opportunities to work the public exist, from passenger amenities, to new service, to transit-oriented development and land use.   Many thanks to everyone who commented, linked, attended a public meeting, sent an e-mail, wrote a letter or checked out the website, and provided feedback on the long-range plan.

What other ways can Metro engage with the public?  What are your suggestions for working together to make a better transit future in St. Louis?  Have you participated in other community engagement projects that you thought were successful and would like to see modeled?

Capital Projects

14 thoughts on “Metro’s Long-Range Plan Wins 2nd Place in International Innovative Public Participation Awards”

  1. J says:

    How can it win 2nd place? The restoration has to be one of the most poorly executed I’ve ever seen!

    My bus runs late, is too full because 32 no longer picks up that weight (before 30th it ran right before our bus got to Rock Road). And now 35 runs after us and is even busier than 32 ever was. I thought the point of the changes was to make the buses better, not try to make everyone feel uncomfortable on their commute as metro squeezes every dollar they can out of people.

    1. Courtney says:

      I’m sorry your commute has been adversely affected, J, I know it’s really frustrating. I’ll put a complaint into Planning for you. Hearing from riders is the best way to fix problems. We are instituting some adjustments to the restoration changes on Nov. 29 (I will go into detail on Monday), and the #32 is included in those changes. Hopefully, the changes will be positive for you and your route. But thank you for your feedback!

  2. Justin says:

    Way to go Metro! It’s awesome that all your hard work is getting noticed around the globe! I sure miss those Transit Tweetups you know. Nothing like getting to spend time with fellow riders.This seems like a wonderful reason to have one. *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

  3. Justin says:

    Hey J:
    My commute often gets fowled up. As a matter of fact I was totally passed up by the #56 a few weeks ago and had to walk to Shrewsburry station from downtown Webster Groves. I sure wasn’t happy about that one but I tweeted my complaint and I got a response in no time. Actually Court’s response was waiting for me when I got home around midnight which hey is way outside of normal business hours. She put in a complaint and that’s really all we can do about it.

    Metro’s going through one heck of a growth spurt right now so naturally there’s going to be growing pains. Best thing riders like you and I can do is to let Metro know of areas that require attention. Believe me I do.


    1. Courtney says:

      Thank you Justin. Well said, and appreciated.

  4. RTBones says:

    Happy Friday, Courtney (and all) –

    Long time no post for me. One quick question: in what way is Metro going through “one heck of a growth spurt”? Are you referring to the Restoration? I find it hard to label that as “growth”, since what you are doing is putting back what was there before (or something close to it, anyway). Yes, some routes got shuffled, some combined, some split. And yes, there are a few growing pains with it as schedules get rearranged. But there is little that is really “growth” IMHO.

    1. Courtney says:

      RT, good to hear from you! From an Agency’s perspective, anytime you have service cut and restored, you do go through growth…we had a lot of new routes, changes to routes, service added, which means a lot of changes to operations, planning and drivers. So while it is a restoration, it is still growth from 2009, and we hope growth in terms of creating the foundation for a long-term view of transit growth. This is just the beginning. Nov. 29 there will be further adjustments, to help with issues that Justin reported on, like time problems with the #2.

  5. Patrick Richmond says:

    The #32 needs an articulated bus. Justin, I can see why you were passed up. With these buses we have, and catching a bus in Webster Groves at night is pretty tough. The lights are on, and when they are on, glare from the domelights is painted on the windshield and makes it very hard for the driver to see. However when the new buses arrive, the glare is to be much more improved to where the lights will only be on behind the driver and it will be dark on the passenger side of the bus, thus making it much easier for you to be seen at night.

  6. Justin says:

    That sounds great Patrick!
    When are the new busses arriving?

  7. Patrick Richmond says:

    Justin the new buses are scheduled to be delivered by next summer. Union Pacific is making room for the transfer from rail to truck in their yard in Kansas City.

  8. Patrick Richmond says:

    HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY “BRING THE #48 INTO ST. JOHN’S HOSPITAL”? It seems that as for the November 28th service change, planning didn’t listen. Plus the routing at St. John’s should be Left or West on Muckerman Drive. The buses can turn around at the Cancer Center which is 607 S. New Ballas Road. And the Cancer Center would like to have a stop. The overhang at the Surgery Center is a 13-foot clearance. Buses should be able to clear it. At the Ballas Transit Center, sometimes the crew gets sloppy about not clearing the bus boarding areas and it can get slick in the winter time. People are trying to get to work and they don’t have time to go ice skating during their commute to work. Clayton Road was #58’s job. NOT #48’s job. I suggest you give Clayton Road BACK to #58 and have #48 pick up highway 40 and go to St. John’s. Now if Planning doesn’t listen, you have my authority to bug them until they make the change.

  9. RTBones says:

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Seeing as Patrick and Justin have brought up some connection issues, maybe you could start a thread on that topic, Courtney? Some connection times are just horrid.

    For me, I know I’ve had several. The 32-57 connection at the Maplewood Metrolink Station can be awful – especially if you arent doing it during “commute” hours on the weekend. Why was this route broken up? A few evenings ago, I decided to take Metro from my home in the CWE to Kirkwood for an event I had. Getting there was fairly straight forward – even if it took a while (Metrolink to Shrewsbury, 56 to Kirkwood). Coming back I was supposed to meet a friend at a place on Manchester – until I saw the antics I was going to have to go through to get there (either two buses and a train or three buses), and some of the wait times between connections. The hangups were largely centered on the Maplewood Metrolink Station / Bus Loop. Of course, it didnt help matters that the bus I ended up taking was late. Additionally, there were connections I could have made (56 to Shrewsbury, train to 59, 59 to Clayton then walk) which would have gotten me where I was going slightly sooner but they were not listed as options on my initial searches.

    Another connection that seems to take entirely too long is the southbound 90 connecting to metrolink at forest Park – its usually 17-24 minutes.

    Finally, another story – at the Forest Park Metrolink station the other day, a man asked a Metro employee how to get from where he was to Soulard. The Metro employee didnt know, and his only response was to look at the map on the platform – which doesnt tell you where routes go, just what routes are available. He didnt get his phone out to look at schedules online, he didnt consult a paper copy of a schedule, and he didnt call anybody. He just stared blankly at the map with the gentleman that asked the question. Now, I know that not every metro employee knows every bus route or connection, but this was not like the guy was trying to get to the Mills Mall or something. All the guy wanted to know was which bus to take. If a metro employee cant answer a question about relatively local connections and you dont have data on your phone, what is the public supposed to do? For the record, I was able to help them both, and to his credit, the metro employee was both courteous and thankful I was able to assist.

  10. nA says:

    What measures is Metro taking to prevent panhandlers soliciting money from riders? I see the same panhandler every other day and today was not an exception. I do not understand how he can avoid security each and every time? Today a fellow female passenger was so scared that she asked me if the panhandler was in the train or got off the train. I could see the fear in her face.

    Metro has to do something about this.


    1. Courtney says:


      Where and when do you usually see this panhandler? Do you have a description? It helps to at least work on this particular person. You can email details as well to [email protected]. Thanks!

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