The government of St. Louis wants people to be able to explore this gorgeous city, so they’ve set up an extensive public transportation system to help people of all backgrounds have the chance to explore. But what is St. Louis’ public transportation like?
There is public transportation in St. Louis, Missouri. In order to reduce traffic issues and increase access to the city, St. Louis has developed Metro, an extensive network of buses, light rails, ride-shares, parking lots, and bike paths.
St. Louis, Missouri, also called the Gateway City, is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, delicious soul food, and rich culture. Here’s how you can get around to all of these different destinations using public transportation.
Metro has an online trip planner, or users can also download Metro’s Transit app in order to view routes and schedules. After entering your destination, the trip planner will show you which buses can get you there and when that bus’s scheduled stops are. The best policy is to arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes before the bus’s scheduled arrival time.
To pay for a ride travelers can either use cash to purchase a ticket or a Metro pass. If using cash, travelers must provide the exact amount, as MetroBus drivers are unable to provide change. If the trip is going to require transferring to another bus, then travelers must ask their MetroBus driver for a transfer at the time of payment.
To request a stop from the bus driver, passengers pull on the cords running along the walls of all MetroBuses when the desired stop is announced.
MetroLink has two lines: the Red Line and the Blue Line. The Red Line travels between the Lambert Airport Terminal #1 MetroLink Station in Missouri and the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink Station in Illinois. The Blue Line travels between the Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 MetroLink Station in Missouri and the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station in Illinois.
If a passenger needs to switch MetroLink lines, the place to do that is at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station. Each stop will be announced, and there are also route maps inside each MetroLink car.
MetroLink passengers must validate their tickets before they can ride. Some tickets come pre-validated with a time stamp, but for those that don’t, they need to be inserted into one of the red validation machines that can be found at all MetroLink stations.
Metro Call-A-Ride is available for individuals with disabilities that prevent them from using the regular MetroBus and MetroLink transit options. Reservations must be made in advance, and priority goes to individuals who qualify for Paratransit services under ADA guidelines. Call-A-Ride services multiple patrons at a time using modern, wheel-chair accessible vehicles.
To make a reservation call: 314-652-3617 or toll-free at 888-652-3617.
When making a reservation, make sure you have:
- The passenger’s first and last name
- The passenger’s home address
- The passenger’s phone number
- The exact address of both the origin and the destination for all of the trips you are scheduling
- All of the information regarding extra riders (example: personal care attendant, children, parents, etc.) and also make the reservationist aware if there is a service animal
- If Medicaid is being used for a medical trip, please have the passenger’s Medicaid number ready and the phone number of the physician’s office – all Medicaid trips must be verified
- If the passenger requires any special assistance, please request it at the time of the booking
The Call-A-Ride schedule has to be fairly flexible in order to allow it to able to accommodate as many passengers as possible. So, when scheduling a ride, be aware that the ride may be scheduled up to an hour before or after the pick-up time that was originally requested. After a ride is scheduled, the passenger can expect to be picked up 15 minutes before or after the scheduled ride time.
If a passenger wishes to cancel a ride they must call at least 3 hours before the scheduled pick-up time or else they will receive a no-show infraction. If a passenger amasses too many no-shows or late cancelations, it is possible for them to have their riding privileges temporarily suspended.
The Gateway Card is a card that users can load cash and transit passes onto. Instead of worrying about tickets or separate transfer papers, users are able to just have everything on a single card, which they are able to swipe at a Metro station’s smart card fare collection station.
|Metro Fare Type||Mode||Current Fare|
|Cash Base Fare (one way, single ride, only bus)||Bus||$1.00|
|Cash Base Fare (one way, single ride, only rail)||Rail||$2.50|
|Cash (Reduced Fare)* (one way, single ride, only bus)||Bus||$0.50|
|Cash (Reduced Fare)* (one way, single ride, only rail)||Rail||$1.25|
|2-Hour Pass/Transfer (any way any method for 2 hours)||System||$3.00|
|2-Hour Pass/Transfer (Reduced Fare)* (any way any method for 2 hours)||System||$1.50|
|2-Hour Pass (from Lambert Airport)||System||$4.00|
|(10) 2-Hour Passes||System||$30.00|
|One-Day Adventure Pass||System||$5.00|
|Monthly Pass (Reduced Fare)*||System||$39.00|
|University Semester Pass||System||$175.00|
Customers are able to use the Transit mobile app to purchase their tickets ahead of time.
What makes someone eligible for a Reduced Fare?
- Children Ages 4 and under ride free. Proof of age is not always required but may be requested.
- Children Ages 5-12 ride for half-price. Proof of age is not always required but may be requested.
- Seniors can ride half price as long as they have the Senior Reduced Fare Permit. Seniors can either apply in person at the MetroStore or they can apply online and have it sent to them by mail.
- Individuals with disabilities can also apply for reduced fare permits but must apply through the Metro’s ADA office instead of at the MetroStore.
Metro Passenger Code of Conduct
MetroBus, MetroLink, and Call-A-Ride all share the same rules for the Passenger Code of Conduct:
- Pay the correct fare and/or have your ticket ready
- Respect the other passengers
- Service animals are welcome
- Please use headphones and please keep music volume low
- Food and drink must be stored in closed containers only
- Shirts, pants or skirts, and shoes are all required to be worn by all passengers
- Do not lie down or place your feet on any of the seats
- Do not disturb the operator unless there is an emergency
- Do not be loud or unruly, be mindful of your fellow passengers
- Don’t litter
- No smoking, e-cigarettes, or vaping
- No alcohol or drugs can be transported or used on the Metro system
- No hazardous, combustible, or dangerous materials can be brought on board any part of the Metro system
- No weapons of any kind can be brought onto any form of Metro transportation
- No Soliciting
These rules were made to promote a safe and respectful environment across all forms of St. Louis’ Metro transportation.
Park and Ride
There are 28 Park and Ride parking lots and garages throughout both Missouri and Illinois that are free parking provided by Metro. These parking lots help save money and parking, as well as help travelers escape rush hour traffic by using public transit instead. These parking areas can also be found using the transit app the same way that MetroBus and MetroLink stations can be found.
If a traveler is looking for a more long-term solution, there are select parking spots available in a different park and ride lots that can be used for up to 14 days. All of these spots are available on a first come first serve basis.
These spots are available at the following MetroLink stations:
- Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44
- Brentwood I-64
- Emerson Park
- Washington Park
- Fairview Heights
- Belleville College
- and Shiloh-Scott
All travelers 13 years of age or older are permitted to bring bikes with them onto MetroBuses or the MetroLink.
MetroBuses have bike racks on them that allow passengers to stow their bikes away during the duration of the bus ride to avoid the bike slipping around or taking up too much room.
In order to bring a bike onto a MetroLink, a passenger must enter after all the other passengers through either the front door of the first car, the very front, or the very back door of the second car. Only 2 bikes per Link car can be on at a time, so if there is not enough room then a traveler may need to wait to use the next MetroLink.
Non-electric motorized bikes, scooters, or motorcycles are all not permitted to be brought aboard a MetroLink.
No bikes are to be left unattended at any time, even if the kickstand is in place, as the bike could possibly fall and injure another passenger, it could fall and get damaged, or it could block the aisle.
Many of the Metro stations (both Bus and Link) are near biking trails. The city wants to encourage biking, as it is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to travel.
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