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June 17, 2011

Some Transit Customers “Dump the Pump” Every Day

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Did you Dump the Pump yesterday? Commuters in St. Louis and around the country were encouraged to park their cars and take public transit yesterday. Metro volunteers were out at MetroLink stations and MetroBus transit centers handing out “I Dumped the Pump for Transit” stickers and entry cards for a chance to win a prize from Metro. If you took transit yesterday and have not turned in your entry card, please put it in the mail or fill out the online entry form by June 24, 2011. The winners will be drawn on July 8 and notified by telephone or email.

A big part of Metro volunteers greeting customers yesterday was to thank them for taking transit. At a gathering last night on South Grand for enthusiasts of transit, many people cited  lifestyle as their major draw to using transit: less stress than driving, spending time reading or listening to music, or seeing different aspects of their community. Some people mentioned  they liked having less of an impact on the environment while others mentioned the cost savings of not owning a car or only having one car in the household. But all the answers suggested an appreciation for a lifestyle, the transit lifestyle.

Is it always the easiest lifestyle or the most convenient? Most people you ask would say no. But there is something that draws many people to the experience of riding transit, riding through their neighborhoods, that draws people in. Some people take transit out of necessity and some out of choice.

But for whatever reason you climb onto that bus or walk onto that train, we say, thank you for using public transit.

Transit Benefits

4 thoughts on “Some Transit Customers “Dump the Pump” Every Day”

  1. RTBones says:

    For my part, lifestyle certainly has a lot to do with it. Growing up abroad, I’ve almost always had access to regular and frequent public transit. It can become so much a part of daily life that it is more noticeable when it isn’t there than when it is. Access to transit is one of the reasons I live where I do. I’d much rather take a train, streetcar, or even a bus that works than drive all the time.

    It’s also why transit here can be so frustrating-because while I have just short walks to bus and train, unless I am commuting around “normal” weekday times, service here is spotty at best outside the train. Knowing that there were just a bunch of service adjustments made, we’ve been told the #90 has had more service added to the northern portion at the expense of the south of the route because that is where demand is. I certainly understand adding service where there is demand. Yet Metro fails to realize that while moving more service south to north, they actually detrimentally shape demand on the southern portion of the route-some people actually care about time, a concept that seems foreign to Metro. Extend headways enough, and your riders will find another way to get where they need to go if they can. The problem here is few people outside the north and central core of the city even realize Metro exists past taking the train to a ballgame. Why? What service is/was there (southern 90 as an example) gets curtailed seemingly on a whim (from a rider’s perspective) because demand on another part of the route is high. How is that reliable if I take the southern portion of the 90? Haven’t we just gone through a reduction/restoration process (yes, I understand routes get tweaked. Peace.)? Metro is focused on marketing its painted bus services – I’ve seen the same advert at least 10 times in three days for the Forest Park “trolley” and close to same the for the 99 Downtown “trolley” – yet says zero about the system as a whole. Its all about “take the FPt” or “ride the Dt” not “let Metro do your driving for you.” How exactly is someone who is new to transit in St. Louis supposed to find out how the “system” works when Metro won’t even talk about it?

    I’d like to have a lifestyle where I could park my car for a week at a time and take transit. As I said above, its part of the reason I live where I do. Unfortunately, Metro doesn’t make it easy to choose.

  2. nA says:

    Hi Courtney – Why is that it is so cold inside metrolink and buses in summer? Operators seem to crank down the temperate at their will and wish. Is there a policy on what should be the temperature set point? Are operators aware of this?

    It has been my everlasting complain and I am not the only one who has this problem. Any comments?

    1. Courtney says:

      I will find out for you about the specifics of temperature control from our maintenance department, but I do know operators have some control over it. I have noted that sometimes operators will not realize how chilly it is getting towards the back because they sit close to the door and windshield where air temp is warmer. When I have asked them to please turn down the AC, almost all have done so, not realizing the temperature for the rest of the bus.

  3. nA says:

    Thanks for the prompt response, as always 🙂

    I have no problem asking the operator to turn down the AC once in a while but I do not want to make that a habit of mine since other passengers might think that I am inconsiderate.

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