Metro transit riders have access to 99% of jobs in St. Louis City, 97% of jobs in St. Louis County and 92% of jobs in St. Clair County, which is why Metro ties for number one for access to transit in the regional core, according to a study released by the Brookings Institution which examined transit access to jobs in the United States.
The study points out what transit planners in this area have said for years – that the current lack of a regional approach to transit and transit funding has not allowed the system to evolve to meet the growing needs of the region.
“Metro areas need to craft comprehensive visions not only for how to create more jobs, but also how to link people to those jobs effectively” – Alan Berube, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow
The St. Louis region has transit service in five counties (St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County in Missouri; Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois). Three of these counties are served by Metro Transit. The Brookings Institution study examined 16 counties surrounding metropolitan St. Louis, going far beyond the Metro Transit service area to include cities like Warrenton, MO, Jerseyville, MO and Staunton, IL.
Areas like St. Charles County and Madison County have made some transit investments and they connect to Metro Transit for quick connections to downtown St. Louis, Clayton and the Metro-East. This metropolitan area, like other regions, will continue to make decisions about the investments it is willing to make to improve the reach and frequency of the transit system they want.
A long-range transit plan developed by Metro Transit and the East-West Gateway Council of Governments also identified needs and opportunities for transit both inside and beyond Metro’s current service footprint. The missed opportunities cited in the Brookings study provide another opportunity for our region to address how we want transit to evolve and expand to serve the growing needs of the region.