Metro Reimagined

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
Metro is considering reconfiguring bus routes

http://www.metrostlouis.org/reimagined/
Not good

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Interesting that San Fran passed Boston. I wonder if that's a first.

Surprised to see STL about 16% above Detroit. Although I suppose they are the car capitol.
quincunx wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:37 pm
Metro is considering reconfiguring bus routes

http://www.metrostlouis.org/reimagined/
That's certainly something. I'm surprised how few E-W routes there are between 270 and the city. I guess that's what cars are for. Seems good for the city overall.
Increasing frequency is great, but they are discontinuing some routes including the one I use almost every day.

The tragedy of our too spread-out community. You have to sacrifice frequency for distance. In other words you can run a 5-mile route twice as often as a 10-mile route.
A few thoughts...
- "Branded vehicles" means? Like IndyBlue?
- Timeline of capital improvements and service changes would be great.
- Downtown trolley route is much improved.
quincunx wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:22 pm
Increasing frequency is great, but they are discontinuing some routes including the one I use almost every day.

The tragedy of our too spread-out community. You have to sacrifice frequency for distance. In other words you can run a 5-mile route twice as often as a 10-mile route.
What I'd like to know is what would be the cost to get high frequency along Jeffferson/planned north-south metrolink route. Ideally some new Prop $$ could be used to boost service/quality along that route now while still leaving a funding pathway open for light rail future.
The massive reductions in service to STLCC Meramec are disturbing. Also bizarre that the 56 is now apparently just a Webster Groves line and does not go into Kirkwood at all.
Ebsy wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:57 pm
The massive reductions in service to STLCC Meramec are disturbing. Also bizarre that the 56 is now apparently just a Webster Groves line and does not go into Kirkwood at all.
My understanding was that the 56 was the lowest-ridership route in the system so that doesn't surprise me. I thought the Twin Oaks Express had decent traffic but I guess not enough. I've never read the 68 but I guess Metro just doesn't want to run buses on Big Bend anymore. Or basically anywhere between Page and Lemay in the county.
This is really great news! It's great to see leadership in St. Louis has pursued Metro Reimagined, which in industry jargon is called a Comprehensive Operations Analysis.

The transit agencies in other metropolitan areas which have conducted COAs have been very successful in retaining if not growing ridership while other metros see declining ridership. For decades transit systems have focused on a tricky balance between bus routes focused on ridership (more frequency = more service and higher productivity) and those focused on coverage (more land to cover = more service to fewer people and lower productivity). The downside as expressed by those on this forum is the loss of coverage focused routes in favor of frequency focused routes. It's a tough decision for any community / metropolitan area. It's proven successful in very sprawled metros like Houston. The upside is very positive to both the current transit user and the future transit user because both have gained greater access to destinations. Look no further than the Transportation Research Record for empirical analysis, Human Transit blog for consultant/practitioner case studies, or Streetsblog for transit news. In each can be found evidence that a larger network of 15 minutes or better frequency bus and/or rail network will not only attract riders but provide more access throughout the day for transit riders. In St. Louis this means an expansion from 1 bus route with 15 minute or better service (#70 Grand) to 12 bus routes with 15 minute service.

That's 5 routes in North County where ridership has been growing (#4 Natural Bridge, #35 Rock Road, #61 Chambers, #74 Florissant, #94 Page). That's access to two Walmarts, one major hospital which accepts government healthcare insurance, large employment destinations with low tier wages, a heavily used community college by transit users, and access to large areas of lower median income households. Comparatively South County has one proposed frequent route #73 Broadway - Carondelet to a major low tier wage employment area (South County Center area) and much smaller low median income concentration such as Lemay. Fewer routes to Meramec STLCC is likely a result of a trend of lower ridership. Both North, Central, and South City see the most gain in frequent routes because that's where ridership is already highest with favorable demographics, land use, and diversity of destinations / "trip attractors." This is where both BRT and MetroLink have been proposed.

Thanks to our dispersal across the suburban landscape since World War II with the help of Federal policies and resources, transit saw its market share of transportation shrink and shrink. A person who wanted to use transit had no choice but to locate where service was most frequent / highest. This extraordinary expansion of frequent service will greatly expand access to employment and services for those for whom transit is their primary means of travel. The purpose of transit is not to replace the single occupancy vehicle where SOV is king but to compete if not the exceed SOV where it's really not practical, in dense cities. Why should the form of transportation which moves the fewest people per mile and requires the greatest government subsidy, the single occupant vehicle, rule all streets? Not all people live at low suburban densities and thus the bus and rail become far more cost effective and greater productive use of street space. We can look no further than Toronto which has great bus service in areas with moderate densities like our University City where single family houses mix with low rise apartments. Surely St. Louis deserves a better transit network and indeed this proposal by Metro Reimagined is a big leap in the right direction.
I agree that there are likely very good reasons for the changes in South County but they've essentially removed any connectivity for between the City and South County. I truly hope that we see increases in ridership that would justify more high frequency routes, as I think the 21 is a potential candidate for that. I used to ride it or the 56 nearly every day and the 21 was often standing room only.
TransportMe, are you on the clock at Metro when you post, or are you only allowed to do so after work and on breaks? :wink:
I miffed that I chose to live in a transit-compatible place, yet my bus service might be taken away.

Meanwhile the proposal puts resources to increasing service in north county, a transit-incompatible place, so it's all that more resource intensive to enhance service, which has more and more people, who can least afford to throw away wealth on cars, because we destroyed so many transit-compatible places.
bprop wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:37 pm
TransportMe, are you on the clock at Metro when you post, or are you only allowed to do so after work and on breaks? :wink:
Seriously. The part about having more access to two Walmarts is what got me the most.
quincunx wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:16 pm
I miffed that I chose to live in a transit-compatible place, yet my bus service might be taken away.

Meanwhile the proposal puts resources to increasing service in north county, a transit-incompatible place, so it's all that more resource intensive to enhance service, which has more and more people, who can least afford to throw away wealth on cars, because we destroyed so many transit-compatible places.
I agree with this point, but it's probably a necessary evil. It's not like the people who need buses can afford to live in downtown Kirkwood, for example.

I would like to see Metro be supportive and encouraging of TOD by adding corresponding bus routes in the future, if such development were to happen in areas without a lot of current ridership.
bprop wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:37 pm
TransportMe, are you on the clock at Metro when you post, or are you only allowed to do so after work and on breaks? :wink:
If that were his job, wouldn't his account name be TransportOthers?
I encourage caution on saying transit incompatible. The street grid is further dispersed in St. Louis County which makes 1 mile spacing of bus routes more challenging. I encourage you to look at the map and notice the radial grid that extends into old and middle suburban areas. Now contrast it with St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson counties which have less grid, less of a network of parallel and connected roads to disperse traffic across a network. A major point the author of the Human Transit makes is the relationship of the success of transit to its geometric road network, but so too is the importance of a variety of trip attractors. The #61 Chambers doesn't have much in trip attractors but connects to a network which does take riders directly to those attracting destinations, hospitals, shopping, jobs, community college, etc. It's a very important route.

First and foremost is that people relocate while others concentrate and form enclaves. Our dense urban environs in this region have and continue to lower in density for a myriad of reasons, most of which are well known by the audience on this forum.

Although transit trip making is a closer result of the density of residences and employment, let us not forget that high on the transit trip indicator list is auto ownership or lack of it. In many other regions such as Los Angeles we have seen lots of rail added to their system with the corresponding economic development, but the working class Hispanic population has been relocating away from LA Metro. So their transit system gains more service but losses core rider population. In our own region the Bosnian and Asian populations started in urban areas but quickly suburbanized. My point here is not to be limited in view. People move and the market share where transit is well used is not static. An example is Chicago where transit use is in decline in urban Chicago despite so much urban development and growth. Development is accommodating cars and so folks are bringing their cars to urban America. So why not redistribute transit resources to where they will be used best?

If you want successful urban development where folks use transit regardless of income it takes getting the 6 D's of transit-oriented development correct: density, diversity, design, destinations, distance, and demand management. The recently proposed development literally next to a proposed Northside-Southside MetroLink station is spot on. It has residential, hotel, and retail on a grid located right at the station at a density exceeding 7,000 residences per acre. Now we need a cluster of more of that within the 1/2 mile of each station but add more destinations like office, gym, etc. Go to Washington, D. C. and get off at stations in northwestern D.C. and you'll see a cluster of businesses near the station just like going to a neighborhood (suburban or interchange) shopping center: cleaners, grab and go cafe, pharmacy, beautician, hotel, bakery, and other services. That's in the first blocks with dense housing or office above like apartments in our Central West End. My neighbors in the CWE walk over to the station and live car optional lives.
For those of you that enjoy design standards and/or placemaking...

Merje, the design team chosen to do Metro way finding analysis and design standards as posted some previews on their website... http://merjedesign.com/projects/st-louis-metro/
Surprised this thread hasn't gotten more attention. This is a pretty big deal for our mass transit system.

Selfishly some of the buses I've regularly taken before will be cut, namely the #1 and #73 (which I took to Cherokee before but now is just combined with the #20 to go to Carondolet), but it kind of makes sense in the grand scheme of things since the #1 just replicates Metro service and you can still take the (more frequently used, anecdotally speaking) #11 to get to Cherokee.

I went to the info session a few months ago and heard folks debating about removing 73 bus service through Cherokee. The people with Metro justified it by saying that barely anyone gets off on Cherokee when taking the 73, while a few who went to the session argued how buses and transit generally should drop people off directly at their destinations to make places transit compatible. Another couple examples I noticed on their draft plan (https://www.metrostlouis.org/reimagined/) are that there aren't any buses that go through Soulard anymore, nor are there any that go through Euclid with the elimination of 1. The latter argument reminds me of this article by Richard Bose: https://nextstl.com/2017/05/built-trans ... d-transit/, which says that "Transit works best when it delivers you to and takes you from the middle of things instead of the edge of things."

On the one hand, I understand making the buses more efficient by running them through arterials and on routes where people actually use them, but on the other, I kind of get where the transit-compatible people are coming from. What does everyone else think?

Not a lot of positive comments for the change on this thread so far it seems. Overall I'm actually pretty happy with the increased overheads to 15/30 min (wish it were at least 15/20 or 10/20 though) for a lot of routes and 10/15 min for 70 Grand, because the awful frequency of the buses was what made getting around the city so difficult.
^ i think a lot of people are just fed up with the city's priorities and see this as another round of lip stick on a more-transit-cuts pig. the city is forever prioritizing autos and sh*t like pro sports while transit continues to wither. but, hey, now we'll have pretty signage to tell us that the next bus is an hour away.
It's probably because Metro hasn't put out anything new since the last round of feedback gathering ended.

Low frequency is a problem for our bus routes and increasing it is a plus of the plan.

The real problem is spread-out land use, which Metro has no control over. If the same stuff were along half the distance than a bus could run twice as often for the same cost and be more useful for riders thus more ridership and revenue. It's an example of how serving and maintaining infrastructure for spread-out places is bankrupting us and/or resulting in crappy service and infrastructure. We're house poor.

Running straighter routes on straods will help them run faster and allow for higher frequency, but it also exposes more riders to hostile and dangerous stroad environments.

The #1 is jammed in the morning heading to WashU. It serves transit-compatible neighborhoods and exemplifies the land-use-transit symbiosis we should be striving for. These places should be supported and enhanced, not the opposite. Metrolink doesn't copy its utility. They work together.
Next iteration of Metro Reimagined is out

https://www.metrostlouis.org/reimagined/