Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Transit Highs and Lows

Transit Highs and Lows

This new 'temporary' MetroLink schedule is frustrating. In case you're unaware, because of a new single-tracking arrangement in the vicinity of Forest Park station, service is now operating on a 12-minute interval schedule rather than the previous 10-minute interval.

The single-tracking and construction also causes delays so that they're not even necessarily keeping to that schedule very well. Plus, an ongoing erosion control construction project along the north side of the tracks between Ewing and Compton (at the back of the bus main shops and the Sigma-Aldrich facilities) adds additional delays.

So, although I'm still leaving home about the same time and catching the same buses near home as I used to, I occasionally arrive at WashU a few minutes late. Partly, it doesn't help that their Gold Line shuttle often runs 5 minutes behind, and even when it is on-time it often whips right by the stop on Pershing at DeBaliviere shared with the #93 Lindell.

The new, large center-platform station at Forest Park is nifty. I can't wait to see what they'll be doing with the LCD sign boards installed on each side. Perhaps they'll actually give the time - few stations have clocks anymore - and estimated arrival of the next train and its direction. That would be nice.

Anyway, the stairs for the new station are actually further away from the bus/shuttle stop on Pershing at DeBaliviere than the old access to the westbound platform. So, I have a couple times just barely missed the shuttle. And since the #58 Clayton-Ballas now only runs every 30 minutes, I just have to wait for the next shuttle. Occasionally I catch the #93 instead, but that means a noticeably longer walk to my destination, and it's usually scheduled about the same time as the shuttle anyway.

On the other hand, today I made it to Clayton business district, ran an errand, and came back to WashU within 50 minutes. Not bad considering it was all via the #58 bus. Somehow, I'm not sure it would be much faster via Cross County MetroLink, given the additional walking necessary to get all the way from the Clayton Central stop to Maryland at Meramec where my bank is located.

3 comments:

Colleen said...

My main frustration with all of this single tracking business was that there was absolutely no communication regarding the changes posted at the Delmar station (right in the middle of the mess). Caution tape and yellow fencing blocks the eastern platform, so it's obvious that you must catch the train on the west platform, but actually communicating the why/when it will reopen info would have be nice. Not everyone who rides from the Delmar station checks metro's website for press releases, and the standard "change of service" announcements usually posted inside the trains themselves are missing.
Can't wait for this all to be over. I look forward to the extension, but at this point, its just one headache after another!

Anonymous said...

Insider information tells me that the Forest Park junction will be complete within two months from now. However, operations on the existing line should be visibly returning to normal much sooner than then.

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