Metro Begins Bus Stop Evaluation Program to Make Routes More Efficient


Part of Metro’s Long-Range Transit Plan is to help make the existing system more efficient, better for customers, and more sustainable. In addition to looking how the system can grow over time, the Long-Range Plan focuses on improving the customer experience and improving distribution of information. As part of the plan, the Planning Department has begun to evaluate the MetroBus stops in our entire system in Missouri through the Bus Stop Evaluation Program. Our customers have the chance to provide feedback and understand the process used to make the system more efficient.

Metro will relocate bus stops, as necessary, to make service more efficient and provide consistent spacing of bus stops. Stops being evaluated for removal will have a sign starting this week. This will help keep buses on time, while saving fuel and maintenance expenses. Metro will survey each route and determine adequate placing of each stop. The planning department started putting signs on the #32 M. L. King Chouteau and #16 City Limits yesterday, and will do #91 Olive and #57 Manchester-Wildwood on Monday. Each sign lists Metro’s customer service line for comment. You can also leave your comment on Nextstop, Facebook, Twitter or by emailing customerservice@metrostlouis.org with the stop location.

The program will look at every MetroBus stop in Missouri and use the established Metro Service Standards and the Federal American Disability Act (ADA) requirements to guide evaluation:
Service Standards – Stop Spacing
Local Service
Stops located at major intersections, major traffic generators, and where bus routes or rail lines cross
Stops located in high populated areas every 1/8 to 1/4 mile apart
Stops located in lower populated areas every 1/4 to 1/2 miles apart
Express Service – Limited Stop
Express routes over local service in high density areas should be located approximately 1/3 to 1/2 mile apart
ADA Requirements
Pad
Depth 8′ with slope parallel to street with 5% or less grade
Width 5′ with slope perpendicular to street with 2% or less grade
3′ clear path required
Public Way
Curb cuts at each intersection
Condition of sidewalk
5′ passing clearance if sidewalk is 200′ or longer

In addition to these guidelines, planners will pay attention to who lives near the stop (i.e. concentration of senior housing), nearby employment centers, and existing amenities. After two weeks, if no valid comments are received, a request will be sent to remove the stop. Also, through the New Freedom Grant, approximately 130 bus stops will be improved and will meet ADA requirements. With additional funding, we will add concrete pads for boarding and benches at several MetroBus stops.

This should provide less stop and go for buses, fewer bumpy rides, more efficiency on fuel and wear-and-tear, and free up more money back to put buses on streets and other projects. Over the next few weeks, Nextstop will publish lists of the proposed bus stops, and will give the list to Paraquad, members of Metro’s ADA advisory group and local officials.

If you have any suggestions for stops needing evaluation, let us know in the comments.

Tags: , , , ,

  • david

    The stop on north bound Grand just before the Shaw traffic signal needs a concrete pad badly. This stretch of Grand is improving all the time yet the dirt patch eyesore for this stop needs to be eliminated.

  • Carly

    The redline #2 Maplewood Station bus that runs in the evening hours through Washington University’s campus is late by 15-20 minutes everyday. I can walk home in that time frame. I’m not sure what can be done to improve the time efficiency on this, but I would appreciate it if someone could look into it.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Thanks for the feedback, Carly. I’ll send your comment along and see if I can’t find some answers.

  • http://www.gatewaystreets.org/ Herbie

    Is there any documentation that can be made available to the public detailing the proposed changes?

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Yes, as we receive lists of stops coming up for possible elimination, I will publish them on the blog.

  • Fossella

    Can you include proximity to a crosswalk, or at least a safe place to cross? There are some stops in the county that are at a dangerous place to cross and really far from a crosswalk. I’m thinking specifically of Watson Road, but I know I’ve encountered that problem elsewhere.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Thanks Fossella, I’ll be sure to let the planners know that customers are concerned about this. I would assume its part of the evaluation process, since what’s around the stop is taken into consideration.

  • Michelle Stokes

    I just want my route not to change!! I know it’s selfish, but it’s how I get to work.
    I ride the train from College station to Union station. I catch the #4 natural bridge to the corner of Olive & Beaumont. In the afternoon I catch the #10 Hampton loop to the Civic Center metro station, then ride the train back to College Station.

    I Catch the #4 natural bridge from Union Station because they have elevator access from the platform. Climbing stairs are an issue for me so I prefer Union Station.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      If you see a sign appear on your stop, just let us know and we’ll be sure the planning department knows that this stop is valuable to you.

  • Kevin Crouse

    Being able to get from Tower Grove @ Center cross to the Central West End in less than an hour would be nice.

  • Dominic Schaeffer

    Hope the #40 stop at Broadway and Mount Pleasant isn’t on the chopping block. I get a funny feeling that when a company says it’s looking to “improve service and become more efficient” it usually means cutting and cutting and more cutting. If I’m not there when the “evaluation” drives by and sees an empty stop, will they assume it isn’t being used?

    Sorry if I sound paranoid but I LOVE the improvements that were just made to Metro. Thanks!

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Currently we have over 8000 stops on the system, which means a lot of stopping and wasted fuel. We’re hoping that thinning out the stops make the buses run faster and keeps stops more populated. In some areas, stops can be as close as one block apart. The things we will look at include proximity to other stops, ridership, condition of stop, what is around the stop, etc. And there is always time for customer feedback.

  • Patrick Richmond

    Now THIS is how to gain ridership. I think that also the city and the county ought to issue tickets to property owners who don’t maintain their property for those with disabilities. I have seen many bus stops in the winter time with no sidewalk shoveled especially infront of the stops. Metro is trying their hardest to help those with disabilities but the business owners and home owners that are by these stops don’t want to own up. And it makes the bus stop in the middle of the street and tie up traffic when the home owner and/or business owner could have chipped in. I don’t give a hoot if it’s a violation of civil rights of the home owner by the stop to force them to shovel snow and keep the walks clear of weeds. If I was a business owner such as a restaurant owner and I want customers to come in and eat, then I need to do my bit by keeping the area clear.

  • Jimmy Z

    They put up signs on Jamieson earlier this week . . . . While I agree with the concept, I’m not clear on how the “comments” will be used. Will one “Don’t eliminate my stop” be enough to save it? 3? 5? 10? From the same person? From several? There probably needs to be more consideration given to daily users and disabled users, especially since the Law of Unintended Consequences looms large – it costs a LOT more to provide Call-a-ride service. Then, again, people move or change jobs and most don’t tell Metro if a stop is no longer needed . . . .

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      All eliminated stops will be sent to our ADA department and citizen’s group, so we are paying very close attention to those concerns. Also, at the same time we are looking to see which stops might be eligible for a New Freedom grant to improve the stop.

  • aaron

    a couple of thoughts

    1. you can probably remove 1/2 of the stops on the 30 soulard between jefferson and lemp. it feels like the bus stops every 100 feet.

    2. why was a giant concrete pad poured by Cherokee park on Lemp for the northbound 73 Carondolet bus (and presumably a shelter will be installed on that pad)? I walk by this stop daily, and can honestly never remember seeing anyone waiting for the bus there. The northbound 30 soulard stop at the southeast corner of Arsenal/Kingshighway is in much worse condition and always has a crowd waiting there, a shelter would be appreciated more here.

    3. off topic, but i would proudly wear an “i’m with metro” button or put a sticker on my bicycle. Where does one acquire these?

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Aaron,

      I can send you some buttons if you send me your address to clsloger AT metrostlouis.org. Thanks for your feedback. I’m trying to figure out what is going on with the #73 on Cherokee but it probably has to do with the streetscape project more than our bus stop evaluation program.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/joefrankstlouis/ Joe Frank

    Hi Court,

    I don’t really see the need for the stops at Taylor @ Scott (southbound in front of East Imaging and northbound in front of BJC WellAware), which are less than a block from the CWE MetroBus Center. There’s also a southbound stop at Taylor and McKinley with no equivalent on the northbound side, which seems odd. Probably having stops at the CWE MetroBus Center and at Taylor @ Clayton is adequate for this section.

    Also I don’t really see the need for two different stops on the #17 inside Mackenzie Pointe Plaza. One stop is probably adequate in there. There are probably too many stops on Watson/Chippewa between Mackenzie and River des Peres, but I’m not sure of exact locations there.

    However, I would love to see some stops relocated to make transfers easier. One example is the westbound #30 stop on Arsenal @ Kingshighway. Moving the stop currently located next to the Walgreens west of Kingshighway, instead to just east of Kingshighway, would make it a bit easier to transfer to the northbound #95 at rush-hour, which a number of people do. It’s a really tough intersection to walk across at rush-hour, and that would place it directly across from the eastbound #30 stop as well. Otherwise, you have to get off the #30 westbound at Arsenal @ Maury by the little arched pedestrian gate into Tower Grove Park, and then hustle on down through the park to the #95 northbound stop. I realize there is a dedicated right-turn lane on Arsenal there, which might make it difficult to place a bus stop there.

    Generally, I think it makes more sense to place bus stops just ahead of a four-way stop or signalized intersection, rather than just past it. That way, the bus can legally comply with the four-way stop or red signal at the same time as passengers are getting on and off. The #30 is a good example of this, since there are four-way stops at every other intersection along Arsenal, you could save several minutes in the course of the route each run by combining bus stop locations with stop sign stop locations in this manner. Also it would save some wear on the brakes, which I’m sure are a costly item in the Metro budget.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Thanks for all the great feedback Joe! I’ll be sure to get these ideas to them!

  • Julie

    You guys really need to evaluate #33. Even a former bus driver who was recently moved to a different bus said that you guys won’t accept that 33 has become busier in the last couple of years and still treat it like it is hardly used.

    Here are some problems I would love to see fixed on the bus:

    1. A bigger bus. Since you guys have changed the schedule so that 33 now has to take on 35′s load, we need a bigger bus to accommodate that.

    2. The bus arrives when the westbound train is leaving and if the bus were to even arrive before the train does, there isn’t enough time to get to it because 33 parks at the back rather than drop off the passengers at the front. St. Louis weather is too extreme to being playing around like this. People going westbound have just as many important things to do as eastbound riders.

    3. You need to run the bus a few more times in the night. There is a big gap between the 7:40 and 9:10 and the 10:40. You need at least 2 more runs in between all that.

    4. You need to run the bus Sunday. You guys should just eliminate 66 which runs only 6 times a day (M-F) and run 33 on Sunday. 33 is the 3rd busiest bus to enter and exit Rock Road Station yet its the only bus that doesn’t run on Sunday, what is that all about? I have to walk for 20 minutes in this heat wave to get to 94 because you guys refuse to admit that 33 has alot more passengers than it used to.

    5. Please remove the bus stops right in front of Rock Road station. People who want to get off there can easily walk from the station, there need to be lazy causes the bus to be further late than it already is.

    6. Give 33 more leg room. The bus always seems to be late especially at its most busiest hours because of poor planning on metro’s part, and this makes even harder to try and get to the train.

    But of all those please fix the fact the timetables so that 33 arrives with enough time to get to the westbound train and also add a sunday schedule.

    I am so tired of 33 getting the shaft from you guys.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Thanks for the great feedback, Julie. I will be sure to send your comments along.

  • Luftmentsch

    Can someone at Metro please explain why the bus and metrolink shelters don’t provide any shade?! It’s 90+ degrees here for weeks at a time. What’s the point of clear plastic/glass shelters? This is the only city I’ve been in that’s like this, and it’s the hottest city on the planet.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Luftmentsch, for safety reason shelters should have clear glass so passengers can be seen from the outside. But many bus shelters do provide shade when sun is not in the place in the sky that shines directly in, and all MetroLink stations should have shaded areas. I know it’s really hot out there, but there should be many places to find shade in the system, and hopefully the heat breaks soon!

  • Julie

    Courtney, can’t you at least be honest and admit you guys aren’t going to do anything rather than make the claim that you’ll “pass it along”?

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Well, right now we rely a lot on passenger and operator feedback to figure out where improvements need to be made. These changes may not happen overnight, but they are tracked and evaluated. If people like you don’t speak up, we don’t have a chance to know what could be improved. Everyday little changes happen because customers speak up.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Julie, I got an answer from Lance re: the #33 Macklind: This route will be changed August 29, 2011 to provide service every 40 minutes where we now have 45 minute service. Buses will be better timed.

      A bigger bus will be placed on this route beginning August 29, 2011. The intersection on westbound routing at Woodson and Lackland will be fixed to allow for a 40 foot bus.

      No additional weeknight or Sunday service will be added due to lack of funding, tax collections are running 17% behind due to economy.

      The bus will continue to serve the same bus bay and you will still have the same walking distance. But a bigger bus and shorter times are coming your way at the end of the month. Hopefully, you don’t feel like your feedback is not valuable now. :)

  • mike

    Julie ,

    Congratulations! At least your concerns didn’t fall on deaf ears and your persistence actually got you results. Even in this day and age, it’s apparent one still has to be born in the right race, be part of the right social circle or live in the right neighborhood, and be part of the right clique to get results.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Mike, I don’t think your comments are warranted here. It wasn’t just Julie’s comments that pushes for action; it was the feedback from customers on that route, and ridership patterns. Other changes will happen during the August quarterly changes, but I do not have them to put on the blog yet.

  • Sharon

    I just want to say thank you for the #75 to hanley running at 4:30 am and getting us early workers to the station for the 5:08 train this is a drean come true. I have been a transit rider for just over a year and I have seen lots of improvements. Thanks

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Great Sharon! I will pass that along to planning.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Thank you Sharon! We appreciate the comment!

  • Nora

    Can the 1st Bus stop on South Outer 40 be moved farther east?, like at the Woodroyal West entrance, for better access and more populated area., and safer. That stop is not even visible and so dangerously located (located few feet to the entrance of hi-40).
    Woodroyal Subdivision need a bus stop. Resident in that area of the South Outer 40 need a closer bus stop for better utilization of the metro bus.

  • STEVE

    On lightly traveled routes bus stops can be closer together because the bus does not stop at all of them. Moving bus stops to the nearside at intersections with traffic lights or stop signs allows the bus to stop once, not twice. If the real intent is to speed up the service, this will do it. Just go ride the 11 up Chippewa between Broadway and Grand, or the 73 up Cherokee to see this situation. Far side stops at stop sign intersections slow the service.

  • http://www.gatewaystreets.org/ Herbie

    Courtney, any idea when the lists of proposed bus stops will published? Even if the entire list is not ready, it would be nice to have the information for the lines on which signs have already been posted.

    Also, your post mentions a two week comment period. From when to when is that?

  • http://www.gatewaystreets.org/ Herbie

    Another question: Why is this Bus Stop Evaluation Program not mentioned anywhere on the official Metro website?

  • Pingback: Bus Stop Evaluation Program: Routes #33, #45, #57, and #91 | NextStop STL

  • Ron Elliott

    The #70 Grand stop at CHEROKEE, northbound, and immediately adjacent to Schnuck’s South City still needs heavy surveillance, improvements, and a program of cleanup. It could use two (2) benches of the type with bands in the middle to discourage lying prone by drunks. The stop is usually dirty and needs a serious and regular spray washing. It is heavily used by real bus riders, and is illegally tied up by locals using it as an outdoor beer hall. I have seen a knife pulled on a bus rider by a drunken loiterer. This spot is vital in our community, and needs police surveillance in the mix.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Ron, here is the note from Maureen:

      Good afternoon. I will put this location on my list of bus stops to survey for 2 MetroBus benches. At the present time Metro does not have a budget to address refuse at our bus stops. Since this is at the Schnucks store I will reach out to them to see if they will adopt this stop and place a trash receptacle at this location.

      Thank you for your interest in Metro. If you want to discuss this further, I can be reached at
      314-982-1480.

  • Patricia Callahan

    first you decrease the bus runs, now you take away bus stops. A bus only stops if a person is standing there, so what’s the problem?? I was thrilled when I moved from the CWE to Loughborough & Hampton because my bus route time decreased by half. Now it is back up to being an hour because you eliminated one of the buses. So – I’m back to driving. Seems that it would be move “cost efficient” to evaluate (and cut) the salaries (including benefits and retirement) of your C-Level executives rather than cutting service. But that’s not how it works in this world, is it?

  • Nora

    Can the 1st Bus stop on South Outer 40 be moved farther east?, like at the Woodroyal West entrance, for better access and more populated area., and safer. That stop is not even visible and so dangerously located (located few feet to the entrance of hi-40).
    Woodroyal Subdivision need a bus stop. Resident in that area of the South Outer 40 need a closer bus stop for better utilization of the metro bus.
    I am posting this comment again since I didn’t get a response.
    We need a Bus stop at Woodroyal Subd., on the South Outer 40 road.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Many thanks to Nora, Patricia and Ron for your great feedback. I’ll make sure that these comments are sent to our planning department, and I will get responses for you. Patricia, just to clarify, 2100 of our 2400 employees are operators, mechanics and other support staff and not executives. I know the changes may seem very frustrating, but at least regarding the bus stop program, it allows us to save money in maintenance, fuel, etc. for less or not used stops so we can better use resources. But I will be sure to pass along your comment for feedback.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Nora, I learned that planning marked this location for a Dig Rite. They are to put a temporary sign up until the Dig Rite is finished. This will be within the next two weeks the temporary sign will be put up.

  • Robert Hamilton

    Here’s a plea to save the #11 southbound bus stop at Allen. That’s a McDonald’s Restaurant near Lafayette Square that is a gathering place for seniors from several neighborhoods. Eliminating that stop would make it more difficult for us. I also see many people riding the #11 home from work and stopping at McDonald’s for dinner. Retaining the stop would be much appreciated.

  • Connie L

    It seems like Metro is doing everything it can to make it more difficult to get to a bus stop. The most recent new routes split the #11 between city and county and now city people using the #11 can’t get to Mackenzie point without taking a second bus- and the time differences between the 2 routes are hard to plan for. If you miss the 21, you have to wait a long time for the next. And now you’re wanting to take out more stops?

    Your notice mentions the ADA guidelines, but what about St. Louis weather guidelines? Removing stops means that in STL extreme weather, riders will have to walk further in the sweltering heat or glaze ice.

    I’m sure you can trim some stops without penalizing too many passengers, but when you make these changes, I don’t really see a concern for our input. I just noticed a sign at a bus stop I frequent on Debalivere. I just got the Metro email today and the deadline is a week or so away. Not much effort to get info out to the public. Not everyone gets their info from the web.

    Anyway, the Debalivere stop is the 1st stop north of the Metro Station stop, on the west side of the street. So I catch it going South bound back to Hampton Village. I don’t know the name of the cross street. A friend of mine works at Wash U and catches the Gold? Line which turns at that street to go south on Debalivere. The Gold bus gets there maybe 1 minute before the Hampton 90. If you take out that stop, she will miss the 5:10 Hampton 90 and have to wait until the 5:40. Are you also going to change connecting bus routes to make up for these stop changes? There used to be a 5:20 Hampton, so she would have no problem getting to the FP Metro station in time, but you changed that during the last route changes.

    Another thing to consider is that by removing stops, you are encouraging people to gather in larger groups and that is not always a good thing (FP Metro bus stops for example). I consider it a safety hazard to wait at the FP bus stops at the Metro platform because of all the loitering and shenanigans. So I walk to the next stop up to stay out of that mess.

    Instead of relying on the web, you should have people on the ground at the major stops you want to change/remove and ask the people there, who use the stops.

    Thanks for you time. Connie L

  • Mary Frances Stoecklin

    Hi!

    I often go to Saint Mary’s Hospital and/or Bellevue Internal Medicine at Bellevue and
    Clayton intersection ( using route #2 to and from Richmond Heights station. I am disabled and Richmond Hts Metro Station is the most easily accessible for me. The
    bus stops are across the street(on Clayton, at the intersection) and very easy for me to get to the buildings entrances. Please do not remove these stops. I’m not the only person using Metro to go to Saint Mary’s/Bellevue Internal Medicine, and I’d greatly appreciate your taking this into consiceration. Thank you.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Thanks for your feedback Mary! That is good information to know, and we definitely want to make sure riders have good access to places like Saint Mary’s Hospital.

  • Pingback: St Louis, Stop Spacing, and the Future of the 50s « Getting Around Minneapolis

  • Cammie

    Several of the bus stop removal proposals will directly affect my commute and there are no other stops close by. In particular, the Donovan (East) and Lansdowne (West). In both cases it would make taking a bus even more inconvenient.

    I have only been taking the bus/metro for six years but the amount of change and extreme inconvenience that has been heaped on me( and every other rider) in that time is unbelievable. Speaking of which, until recently, the bus stop at Grand and Arsenal , northbound, had a shelter in front of Qdoba. Now the bus stop is moved nearly a block north and there is no shelter. The previous arrangement was infinitely more desirable for all kinds of reasons. Will you be adding a shelter to this location? There is a bench but no shelter. Better yet, could you move the stop back to where it was? These seemingly minor changes cause major inconveniences for many people, particularly at this stop. Does anyone ever stop to consider the comfort of the rider?