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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the category “light rail”

Metro Link

Another recent story in the Post wrote that Metrolink ridership is down 20% in the last few years. That is a huge decrease. The article insightfully pointed out that crime alone is not the issue. Changes in the work climate including working at home, more part time jobs etc.also account for the drop. As I have pointed out numerous times, fixed route rapid transit is a thing of the past. We should be investing in ride sharing services instead of rail. Written by Paul Dribin

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Metrolink

Ridership has been down 20%, crime is up, operating costs staggering. What is wrong with our political leadership that anyone would consider expanding a system that is a disaster. Fixed route transportation systems will not work for the many reasons I have laid out before. Written by Paul Dribin

Loop Trolley Debacle

The Loop Trolley in test runs has twice hit autos , knocking mirrors off of cars in minor accidents. Apologists say people did not park right. That is the point, we should not require perfection for the system to work. Written by Paul Dribin

Loop Trolley: Update, the Good, Bad, Ugly and Beautiful

The trolley situation is still a mess. KWMU had a story which documented the large number of businesses which have gone out of business, at least partly due to the trolley construction. Also, The Riverfront Times published an article about the fact that the automatic ticket machines for the trolley are in before the trolley itself and these machines do not make change. An individual who needed change would need to send in the receipt through the mail and wait for change from the Trolley Association by mail. Overall, the whole thing still seems like a fiasco. One piece of good news, the Loop Business Association has hired Rachelle L’Ecuyer as Executive Director. She is top notch and has done a great job as Economic Development Director in Maplewood. I wonder how long it will take her to clash with Joe Edwards. Written by Paul Dribin

Metrolink Safety

One of the biggest problems affecting Metrolink safety is that police in the various jurisdictions along the routes have radios with different frequencies. The county taxpayers had approved a small sales tax increase to address this issue. The money is there but the issue remains unresolved. Why? Written by Paul Dribin

Metrolink Failures Continue

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Metrolink has lost 39 million riders since 2004. Why do we want to expand it? Isn’t doing over again that which did not work the sign of insanity? Written by Paul Dribin

The Future of Urban Public Transportation

The New York Times last week had an article which described the discussions being held by transportation planners about the future of urban transit. Many are beginning to adhere to my view that we should think about getting away from light rail and utilizing Uber or self driving cars. Critics say we don’t know when self driving cars will be readily available.

I am please to see there is a serious discussion about this subject. For most communities, light rail is simply too expensive and may not end up going where it needs to. More people are working at home and need transportation to travel considerable distances during the work day. Trains are also very expensive to maintain.

I would recommend that public transit companies partner with organizations such as Uber and Lyft or buy self driving cars when available rather than invest in expensive and obsolete rail systems. Written by Paul Dribin

Metro Could Have Saved Money if St. Louis County Had Cooperated

The outgoing head of Metro has stated that the agency could have saved significant sums of money by refinancing its’ bonds. County Executive Stenger was unresponsive to this request and the opportunity has been lost. This of course is very disappointing and a sign of the difunctional nature of our governments. Written by Paul Dribin

Loop Trolley Again

The Post wrote yesterday that there is still not a definite date for the start of the Loop Trolley. This is not a surprise. Furthermore when it does begin it will operate only from Thursday to Sunday from noon to 6pm. Does this sound like a winning program? (By the way last week I almost ran into a trolley when I was trying to turn right onto Lindell at the History Museum.). Written by Paul Dribin

Commute Times in St. Louis

A recent study has shown that St. Louis has a relatively high number of people whose commute is 90 minutes or more each way. On the surface this seems surprising. But these long commutes are not people driving in from Columbia or Cape but low income people who rely on public transportation.

Interestingly it is our region’s investment in Metrolink that contributes to the problem. Due to Metrolink we do not have a robust bus system which runs frequently and takes lots of routes. Think of how much better off we would be if everyone could get by bus to work in a 1/2 hour or less. It is possible with the right planning and leadership. Written by Paul Dribin

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