Information on Bus Routes to be eliminated (disregard meeting info, the post is a bit dated)
My letter to Bi-State Development Agency
I am writing in opposition to proposed cuts to bus service which pose public safety risks. I am also writing in criticism of the process by which these services are being proposed for cuts, and to review some past mistakes made by Metro/Bi-State Development on service cuts as examples of where service is needed.
The #8 Morganford travels Russell to South 12th and north to Downtown. It serves the Allen Market senior housing at Russell and South 12th, bar and restaurant workers in Soulard and on Grand, and Downtown workers and customers of Fields Foods (on Lafayette) who live in Soulard and McKinley Heights. The public transit option proposed for these current riders is #10 Gravois. This would require crossing six-lane Gravois at Russell, a very dangerous intersection that includes a highway off ramp and traffic from a gas station/convenience store and fast food business, an intersection with frequent accidents.
The #19 St. Louis Avenue would no longer serve the workers and customers of Old North’s 14th Street Mall, Crown Candy, LaMancha Coffee, other businesses, and senior housing. The public transit option proposed is six-lane #74 Florissant in an area with crime problems.
The #20 South Broadway travels through Soulard on South 12th to Downtown. It serves customers of Vincent’s Market at South 12th and Barton, the Allen Market senior housing at Russell and South 12th, bar and restaurant workers in Soulard, and Downtown workers and customers of Fields Foods (on Lafayette) who live in Soulard, as well as homeless persons coming and going to our various service providers. The public transit option proposed for these current riders is #10 Gravois, which would be of no use to customers of Vincent’s Market. See also #8 Morganford for public safety concerns.
The #73 Carondelet would no longer serve the bar and restaurant workers and customers of Cherokee Street. The public transit option proposed is #11 Chippewa on Jefferson. The area has crime problems. Walking in the dark to Jefferson would not be safe.
In each of these cases, an unsafe option is proposed. It doesn’t matter whether planners assumed that captive customers like dish washers will use the unsafe option because they have no alternative, or simply didn’t research what institutions were on the bus routes, the result is the same, a bad proposal.
Over the past five weeks I have sought out bus riders at bus stops on the aforementioned affected routes. I spoke with 57 bus riders that I was not acquainted with. Not a single person knew their bus stop was proposed for elimination. When I mentioned the lack of community outreach to Metro/Bi-State staff at the April 17th meeting, staff insisted that the brochure handed out at transit centers and on buses was sufficient notice. Said brochure said nothing about service cuts. It was dishonest.
You can increase ridership by providing bus service to places you once did and screwed up by eliminating it.
You should return bus service to Busch Stadium. People do not want to take a bus to the train to Busch. Eliminating bus service to ball games was a huge mistake. It resulted in more people driving.
You should return bus service to City Hall and Civil Courts. People do not want to walk from Civic Center transit center to City Hall and Courts, particularly when it is raining or snowing out. 25 years ago about 1/4 of the employees at City Hall rode the bus to work. Now it’s about a dozen people. You really messed up on that one. Today you have buses that travel on Clark, go right past City Hall without a stop for riders. It’s ridiculous.
Probably the worst part about participating in the recent transit meetings was hearing from Metro/Bi-State staff that the reason the transit “hearing” was not attended by Bi-State Development Commissioners is because they don’t know anything about bus routes.
That’s our problem right there, the governing body for public transit has no idea what the product is, let alone how poor a product it is.
—Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman