March 9, 2022 | 10 Comments

Single-Car MetroLink Train Service Being Tested Starting March 14

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Single-car MetroLink train approaching Civic Center Transit Center during a winter snow storm

MetroLink may look a little different later this month as Metro Transit launches a two-week pilot program to add some flexibility to service.

The temporary program will begin on Monday, March 14, when MetroLink will begin to put single-car trains into daily service instead of the normal two-car trains, which have been a familiar sight on the 46-mile MetroLink system for nearly 30 years.


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“As we react to a post pandemic world, we need to challenge ourselves as a transit agency to become more flexible as our ridership changes,” said Taulby Roach, President and CEO of Bi-State Development. “Our region is changing so therefore our transit service must adapt to a post COVID-19 environment where not all employees will return to work in brick and mortar buildings.”

Advantages of using single-car MetroLink trains:

  • One MetroLink train car would be more efficient for security to patrol.
  • Wear and tear on the machinery will be reduced in half.
  • Service can be provided more efficiently with the current ridership level.

What riders need to know:

  • Please stand behind the yellow line while the train is in motion.
  • Single-car trains will be used March 14-27. On Monday, March 28, we will return to using two-car trains.
  • During some rush hours or special events, two-car trains may be used as needed to accommodate increased ridership.
  • The single-car trains will pull completely forward to the front end of the platform, so please be prepared to board and exit the train from this section of the platform.

“We have already identified a few trips during rush hour that we will need to have two-car trains in service to accommodate the volume. The second car can be added back on as MetroLink ridership continues to increase or when special events occur in downtown St. Louis where we see or anticipate higher ridership,” Roach said.

“In the long-term, we are moving forward with the process of purchasing newly designed light rail cars and continuing to add electric vehicles to our bus fleet because those are the types of innovations our customers and the public expect from Metro Transit,” said Roach.

MetroLink successfully put single-car trains into service during the recent major winter storm in February as an emergency strategy to help keep trains moving when ice was accumulating on the overhead power wires.


Contact Metro Transit Information for assistance or if you have any questions.
314.207.9786 (TEXT) |​​​​  314.231.2345 (PHONE)
7 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Monday through Friday

10 thoughts on “Single-Car MetroLink Train Service Being Tested Starting March 14”

  1. Shannon Villa says:

    This is the wrong direction for St. Louis. It is like Metro is pre-emptively saying ridership will continue to drop. Also, this greatly reduces the capacity in half for number of wheelchairs and bikes per train: will become maximum of 4 wheelchairs instead of 8 and just 2 bikes per train instead of 4. This makes St. Louis not friendly for bikers and transit riders without a car.

  2. Concerned Rider says:

    This may lead more people to revert back to work from home strategies. Pre COVID trains were so packed that not everyone got a seat. People were lucky to find space to stand while holding onto a pole close enough to kiss the other person holding on to the pole. I have begun riding again and often sit in front of someone who doesn’t wear a mask or doesn’t wear it properly but there isn’t anywhere else to go to distance. I have noticed increasing volume. I also imagine fuel prices will increase the volume of riders as well.

  3. Mike Grady says:

    With the single car plan, will you consider increasing the frequency of schedule times if needed?
    It could make up for lack of capacity.
    Be sure to monitor the riders opinions about the new arrangements throughout the service period instead at rush hours.

  4. Frankie says:

    Simple solution: Use single car trains in off peak hours only and on weekends except for special events.

  5. Karla Bergeron says:

    When purchasing new trains for the future please consider a different seat plan. There should be U shaped seating arrangements. This allows for parents to SIT with/near their children in strollers as well as travelers and their bags.
    1 car makes for a crowed train during peak times. Not a comfort, since we are not through pandemic yet.

  6. GenAero says:

    I would trade a less crowded train that people occasionally smoke on for a more crowded train that nobody ever smokes on. But it seems bad if it’s so crowded that people are forced to stand, which I experienced between 4-5pm.

    Shannon Villa is correct that dropping ridership is an unfortunate direction St. Louis. That said, running big trains that move no humans would be, if not a cargo cult, a literal passenger cult.

    Anyways, if it’s feasible it seems ideal to run single cars at off peak hours and double cars at peak hours.

  7. Neal Carnaby says:

    The original idea was single car use with tandem cars only at peak times… except Metrolink opened with 6k more passengers than expected per week and had to run doubles all the time! I should hope they can reinvent the wheel operationally 30 years later! Maybe enhancing security and marketing of same to boost the ridership back up? And maybe increase the frequency again? Somehow what once was a great asset in the STL area has become tarnished and reducing capacity only seems to further that.

  8. My ride was good and I had to remember to move forward for the single train on the platform.And for people with disabilities and bike riders we will still need the better options to commute .I am happy I did see this test for over all safety ,better equipment and security purposes on the website.

  9. Bryan hadley says:

    I much prefer the single car arrangement. I feel so much safer. There is safety in numbers. Also, Metro doesn’t have the demand for two cars. Single car service is sufficient. Don’t revert back unless necessary.

  10. JEFFREY L SMITH says:

    Not between the airport and downtown keep it 4 cars. How many people are east of east st louis or the branch line by forest park. You would have to hire more streetcar drivers

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