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 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
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
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
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
An article in the Post Dispatch indicated that the Loop Trolley will begin at 2/3 capacity. That is because one of the cars will not be available due to repairs that are needed for it. These repairs have taken a very long time to complete because the parts have to be made in Germany. When the service will begin in any capacity is still a mystery. If you understand any of this you are a better person than me. Written by Paul Dribin
This article based on heavy research concludes that people who live near transit that takes them to jobs do not necessarily spend less on transportation. The reason they spend less is that they have lower incomes.