Regarding changes to the #56 Kirkwood-Webster effective September 30, 2019:
With the systemwide changes to MetroBus service going into effect on September 30, we are transforming our services to better meet the transportation needs of the entire St. Louis region. The system we operate today has seen declining ridership, about a 20% decrease over the last five years. The bus system needs to be more effective and efficient for our riders, and with our current financial resources, it is also not economically sustainable.
With the new MetroBus plan, we are focusing taxpayer resources toward providing the type of services that riders have told us they want, and that have seen success in other markets. This includes more direct trips and more frequent service, which include new high-frequency MetroBus routes – with 10 of the most popular routes offering service every 15-minutes or faster.
These necessary changes have required Metro Transit to make hard decisions about where to use our available resources. In order to provide effective, frequent service to the most people throughout the entire St. Louis area, we needed to redirect service away from areas and routes that had the lowest ridership. The segment of the #56 Kirkwood-Webster in Glendale where Grace’s stop is located has very low ridership, and it is not economically viable to continue operating a 40-foot bus in that area.
However, we do not want to minimize the impact of these changes to Grace and other Metro riders in the region, and a key part of our planning process was to make these new options as accessible as possible. For Grace, we worked closely with her family, the City of Glendale and St. Louis County to explore ways to keep her new bus stop close to her home and her new bus route as convenient as possible with the resources we have available.