Metro Transit seeks public input for network changes that will provide shorter waits, faster trips and better MetroBus connections

Metro Transit will hold informational meetings at transit locations to gather final input for Metro Reimagined plan

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Shorter bus waits, faster bus trips and better transit connections. That is what MetroBus riders and the public told Metro Transit they wanted and needed.

Now, Metro Transit is asking its riders and the public for final feedback on the nearly completed draft of the Metro Reimagined plan, which will impact MetroBus routes in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County.

Over the past 18 months, Metro Transit received input from the public, its riders, community groups and elected officials and incorporated that feedback into the new MetroBus network plan.

The Metro Reimagined network plan offers more than faster, more frequent MetroBus service. It is a new vision for public mobility in the bi-state area, expanding Metro’s role from a transportation provider to a convener of services that improve access to economic prosperity and enhanced quality of life. The changes will be made utilizing the existing funding allocations.

Metro Reimagined network plan highlights include:
· 13 high-frequency MetroBus routes would provide service every 15 minutes or better during the day
– Currently, only one route operates every 15 minutes or faster
– Currently, only three routes operate 20 minutes or faster
· 39 routes would provide service every 30 minutes
– Many routes currently provide 40-minute or 60-minute service
· Routes designed to be more direct, providing riders with faster trips by eliminating deviations along some routes
· New service added in response to customer feedback
· Introducing Wi-Fi, mobile ticketing and other new technology to improve the transit experience
· New innovative transportation options for areas where a 40-foot bus may not be the best option

“Since we began this process, we actively sought rider feedback on the evolving network plan for the St. Louis region, and we got that feedback in the form of approximately 2,200 public comments,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, Metro Transit Executive Director. “More importantly, we listened, and we have made changes and added some new service that addressed many of the responses we received, while also keeping the fast and frequent service the new plan provides.”

As part of Metro Reimagined, some MetroBus routes will retain most of their current shape, while others are being modified to improve directness and travel time. The plan calls for MetroBus to provide four different types of service categories to better match service to geographic markets across the region. The four types of service are:

· Frequent, which will operate every 15 minutes or faster during the day
· Local, the majority of bus routes across the network, which includes 35 routes in Missouri that will operate every 30 minutes during the day
· Express, operating a few trips for the morning and afternoon commutes with limited stops to job centers in the region
· Community, which includes limited fixed-route bus service, a variety of new mobility strategies such as micro transit and other on-demand services, circulator shuttles, and alternative transportation options that may be used to replace traditional bus service

More information about the proposed network plan and changes to individual routes can be found at www.metrostlouis.org/reimagined, which includes proposed route maps. The public also is encouraged to attend any of the upcoming informational meetings at Metro Transit Centers, where there will be opportunities to speak with a transit planner, ask questions and share feedback.

Feedback to the plan can also be shared with Metro Transit Customer Service by calling 314-982-1406 or texting 314-207-9786 from 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday or emailing customerservice@metrostlouis.org.

The public and community feedback received over the past year and a half, in combination with in-depth analysis of the system, has played a key role in Metro Transit’s development of guiding principles for the new network plan. Those guidelines require the transit agency to:

·Provide mobility based on existing and future needs
·Value personal mobility in the quality of life and economic vitality of the region
·Embrace best practice strategies and innovate mobility options
·Work with its partners to build an effective and efficient integrated system
·Progress within its current and potential financial capacity

The recommended array of service strategies in the final draft Metro Reimagined plan are guided by these principles and are matched to corresponding transit markets that are designed to improve performance in the areas of cost-effectiveness, ridership and customer experience.

“We consider the network plan to be part of Metro’s Rider-Centric Revolution, through which we’re designing a system around people first, with equity and accessibility entrenched throughout planning and implementation,” Mefford-Miller said. “The information collected through the Metro Reimagined study has allowed Metro planners to identify enhancements to the transit system and develop a new network plan that will increase access to destinations throughout the area while addressing the future mobility needs of the region.”

Metro launched Metro Reimagined, a comprehensive analysis of the MetroBus system, in July 2017 to ensure that Metro is positioned to meet the evolving transportation needs of the St. Louis region, today and in the future. The project team will incorporate community feedback into the final revision of the Metro Reimagined plan in late 2018. Metro Transit hopes to begin alternative mobility type pilot projects starting in spring of 2019 and implement the changes to the fixed-route network in fall of 2019.

About Metro Transit
Metro Transit operates the St. Louis region’s public transportation system which includes 400 clean-burning diesel buses that serve 83 MetroBus routes in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois. Metro also operates MetroLink light rail vehicles on 46 miles of track serving 37 stations in the two-state area and operates Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 122 vans. Metro Transit is one of five enterprises operated by Bi-State Development.