Friday, August 03, 2007

Downtown in 30 Minutes or Less Via MetroBus

Downtown in 30 Minutes or Less Via MetroBus

Yes, I have started driving. But that does not mean I have abandoned public transit. I just recognize that one needs to adopt a multimodal lifestyle.

That means, when it's convenient and feasible, to consider other options besides driving a single-occupancy vehicle. Sometimes, that's walking or bicycling, although I do rarely bicycle just because I'm very much out of practice and, well, kind of lazy.

But I still walk a lot of places, although that has to be tempered by weather conditions, the perception of safety both from crime and from traffic hazards, and time constraints.

Many areas of the City of St. Louis are, in fact, 30 minutes or less from Downtown St. Louis via MetroBus. Of course, MetroLink gets you even farther in that time.

MetroLink Estimated Travel Time:

Civic Center to Sunnen Station: 29 minutes.
Civic Center to Airport East Terminal Station: 29 minutes.
Convention Center to Belleville Station (Illinois): 28 minutes.

Selected MetroBus Routes Estimated Travel Times:

#04 Natural Bridge:
Convention Center MetroLink to Vandeventer @ Natural Bridge: 30 minutes.

#10 Gravois:
Civic Center MetroBus Center to Gravois @ Holly Hills: 30 minutes.

#11 Chippewa:
Civic Center MetroBus Center to Chippewa @ Louisiana: 29 minutes.

#30 Soulard:
Convention Center MetroLink to St. Louis Ave. @ N. Kingshighway: 29 minutes.
Convention Center MetroLink to Arsenal @ Spring: 29 minutes.

#32 Wellston-MLK:
Civic Center MetroBus Center to Martin Luther King @ Sarah: 30 minutes.

#40 Broadway:
Convention Center MetroLink to S. Broadway @ Courtois: 30 minutes.
Convention Center MetroLink to Riverview MetroBus Center: 27 minutes.

#57 Manchester:
Civic Center MetroBus Center to Manchester @ Sutton, Maplewood: 30 minutes.

#74 Florissant:
Civic Center MetroBus Center to W Florissant @ Union: 30 minutes.

#93 Midtown South County:
Convention Center MetroLink to Grand @ Chippewa: 30 minutes.
Convention Center MetroLink to Forest Park @ Euclid: 30 minutes.

#94 Page:
Civic Center MetroBus Center to Page @ Walton Ave.: 29 minutes.

You get the idea. The general intention here is to illustrate just how quickly you can get to downtown St. Louis from most of the City of St. Louis. Of course, there are significant areas that are not within a convenient walking distance of a bus route that provides direct downtown access. In those cases, a transfer to another route is necessary, which slows the trip considerably.

So I'm not saying transit is always the best option; just that it is an option to be considered, especially if you both live and work in the City of St. Louis or the closest inner-ring suburbs.

And even for inter-city travel, flying and driving are not always the only options; although for most smaller towns in Missouri, driving is almost the only option aside from costly airport shuttle services.

Amtrak, Greyhound, Jefferson Lines, and Burlington Trailways operate various routes throughout Missouri, but they don't go everywhere and they don't operate all that often nor (at least in the case of Amtrak and Greyhound) necessarily on-time or even close to on-time. Megabus offers direct express service to both Chicago and Kansas City from the Market Street side of Union Station downtown. I haven't tried it yet to see what their comfort level and on-time performance is like, but I do see the buses plying Market Street several times daily.

My main point is that, while sometimes driving is the only option, it's not always the case. Alternatives can be considered; and even if you still chose to drive, at least you'd know you had other options.

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