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November 16, 2010

What Metro Learned From Today

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Early this morning, MetroLink experienced a failure in the overhead power system. Unlike most failures, this one caused power outages at a number of locations between Grand and Emerson Park Stations.  As a result, MetroLink service was delayed, and bus bridges from Emerson Park Station to Grand Station were used to move customers.  This occurred during the morning rush hour, and many people traveling the system were affected.  All available Metro resources were deployed to work through the problem.  Thank you to all of the employees who worked together to keep the system going and fix the problems as quickly as possible.

Delays due to mechanical problems will occasionally happen despite the most aggressive preventative maintenance efforts.  However, we heard from many of you that our communication to the customer should be better, especially to those on the ground who are trying to figure out what is going on.  We received letters, phone calls and online communications from many customers, some positive, but many more expressing frustration with our response to today’s incident.

We want you to know that we are listening.  We hope to take the concerns and experiences that you have shared with us to improve the process of getting information to you, especially during unexpected problems.  We heard that you wanted to know more about the problem more quickly, specifically the cause and extent of the delay.  We also heard that you wanted more information from the Metro operators and security guards on your bus and at transit centers. We know that you these situations can be confusing and chaotic, and we know we must work to better communicate the situation with our customers.

We sincerely apologize for all of our customers who experienced frustration today, and we appreciate all of the honest feedback.  Please know that many people will be working to learn from today, and trying to incorporate those lessons into future solutions.

Thank you,

St. Louis Metro Transit

Metro Lifestyle

5 thoughts on “What Metro Learned From Today”

  1. I, for one, appreciated the up to date tweets. I was able to adjust my commute accordingly.

  2. Andrew says:

    I would like to receive a text alert when the MetroLink goes down. Many Universities and other organizations have set up subscription messaging via sms. This would be faster and more robust than facebook and twitter. I have both of those services on my phone but a lot of people do not. Text messaging would reach many more people and it is an active alert.

  3. Andrew says:

    It would be very nice if MetroLink provided text alerts to those users that subscribe. Many universities and organizations have set up this kind of alert system for natural disasters, active shooters, etc. SMS messages can be sent free of charge too so it would add no cost for Metro.

    The facebook and twitter feeds are welcome but SMS would reach more riders faster. I have facebook and twitter on my cell phone but many people do not.

    1. Courtney says:

      Agreed Andrew. That was an option brought up yesterday and is now being explored.

  4. RTBones says:

    Courtney – I’d like to second a call for an SMS text feed – either from your blog here or the main Metro site. Not everybody uses Twitter or Facebook (or can, for that matter). I was standing on the Forest Park Metrolink platform at one point with 4 trains around the station. There was an announcement that said trains were running up to 10-15 minutes late, but there was no explanation as to why.

    As a bonus, during inclement weather (we are heading into the winter season at this point), if road/track conditions slow Metro down, at least your ridership will know you are running and how late you might be.

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