This morning on the bus I picked up a huge brochure detailing the changes planned for the MetroBus system when Cross County MetroLink opens in fall 2006.
Damn near every Missouri bus route is supposed to be changed, and service expanded in some areas, under the plan called Metro Redefined 2006.
This time around, a whole bunch of public hearings are scheduled for January 2006, with the final summary presentation at Metro headquarters on Laclede's Landing on February 2, 2006.
Other locations of public hearings in the City of St. Louis include:
St. Louis City Hall
1200 Market St
St. Louis, MO 63103
11 a.m. - 3p.m
2740 Arsenal St
St. Louis, MO 63118
4 - 8 p.m.
701 Washington Blvd
(at Convention Center)
St. Louis, MO 63101
9 a.m. - 1p.m.
Washington University Medical Center Eric P. Newman Education Center (EPNEC)
320 S. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
10 a.m. - 2p.m
South City YMCA
Meeting Rm A & B
3150 Sublette Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63139
10 a.m. - 2p.m.
Elsewhere in the region, sessions will be held in East St. Louis, Jennings, Wellston, Kirkwood, Mehlville, Ellisville, Maplewood, Clayton, and at UMSL, SWIC, and the Ballas Road MetroBus Transfer Center.
I have to give them credit -- they really are trying hard to publicize these changes and get extensive public comment from constituents all across the portions of the region served by public transit.
At least two of the routes proposed seem to contradict my argument last week that Cross County wouldn't save WashU money:
1) The proposed #51 Central West End seems to blatantly replace the WashU Gold Line and part of the Blue Line. The proposed route "will provide bus access to Washington University students connecting them to the Washington University Hilltop Campus and Washington University Medical School" operating every 15 minutes weekdays, every 30 minutes evenings and weekends. Exactly the same route and schedule as the Gold Line. It would also replace the western portion of the #93 Lindell which the Gold Line currently overlaps for several blocks. The #93 route will still exist, but serve a very different corridor. I sure as hell hope WashU will pay for this service, one way or another!
2) The proposed #54 Washington University is even more blatant, named for the school itself. While the northern portions replace parts of the #64 Lucas Hunt and #16 City Limits, the southern portions seem to trace the route of the WashU Red Line and the eastern half of the Blue Line.
I don't necessarily object to WashU cutting its directly-provided shuttle services; I just hope they compensate Metro for this service. Of course, it could instead be that Metro is trying to compete with WashU in these areas; but given that WashU shuttle service is free-of-charge to anyone with a University ID, that seems like a hard price to beat.
Also, I am more than a little annoyed at the proposal to extend express bus service to Jefferson County!
Under the proposal, the existing I-55 Mehlville Express would be extended to the Richardson Road park-ride lot via I-55. A 50-cent surcharge would be included in this fare. That bugs me, because Jefferson County does not pay the transit sales tax! If you want to play, you have to pay. Same goes for St. Charles County and Franklin County. They both had some limited service a few years back; but their votes have not approved a tax levy for public transit.
I definitely plan to attend at least one of the public hearings next month.