Friday, March 27, 2009

Downtown St. Louis Loses Street Level Transit

One of the last Metro Buses in the CBD at Olive & 9th in front of The Paul Brown

Starting Monday, March 30th, Downtown St. Louis will be without street level transit for the first time since before the Civil War. According to the St. Louis Public Library, the Missouri Railway Company opened the first streetcar line running on Olive Street between Fourth & 10th Streets on July 4th 1859. By 1903 a massive web of streetcar lines fanned out from the dense grid of the CBD. Eventually buses replaced the streetcar lines, but the pattern of lines emanating from within the CBD core remained.

Streetcars on Olive Street sometime around 1915-1920

As part of Metro's massive service cutting measures to deal with the failure of Prop M by St. Louis County voters last November, Metro Buses will no longer travel through Downtown's Central Business District east of Tucker Boulevard. Instead, all buses headed Downtown will be routed to the 14th Street Transit Center south of Savvis Center. From there anyone wanting to go into the CBD will need to transfer to MetroLink. Apparently Metro does not feel that a concentration of 90,000 workers and 10,000+ residents does not warrant Metro Bus service Downtown. Never mind that St. Louis City passed it's portion of Prop M in 1997! and has not been able to use it!


howardpark said...

Hard to believe!

I remember when St. Louis was pushing tourism, another group sure to be perplexed by the end of mass transit downtown.

Anonymous said...

How is that possible? An entire downtown district WITHOUT pubtrans? I moved to San Francisco from St. Louis years ago, & I've heard rumors that it has gotten worse, but this is something that just stings the ears when you hear it. WTF?!

john w. said...

I spy a Century Building.

Anonymous said...

Too bad MetroLink is so poorly managed and invested its nest eggs in an inefficient-overpriced Extension. Everyone from residents to visitors will pay a high price for these years of ineptitude. The clowns supporting Salci have stuck the region with a lemon.

Anonymous said...

Interesting map of St Louis and it makes clear two obvious facts:
1. The City was once well served and connected by mass transit over 100 years ago, and
2. The southern section of Forest Park was converted to highway 40.
Quite unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

What a disaster! Living in St. Louis without a car, as I did for three years by choice in the 90s, has now become all but impossible. You'd think global warming, the financial crisis, and the immanent end of oil reserves would lead suburban St. Louisans to finally start rethinking their lifestyles and support public transportation. How am I supposed to get around town when I come to visit my family?