Metrolink Expansion?

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
First unread post778 posts
Ah, I have been looking everywhere for this. You wont find it on their site anymore, but thankfully I saved it. Interesting, isn't it?


Thanks for the map xing

They should do the Northside line next. What a boon to the northside it would be. Really interesting map.

Looks like the southside expansion completely bypasses Soulard, South Grand, etc. It would be so great to take MetroLink from downtown to Soulard - maybe a trolley system could be implemented at some point.

A trolley would be great. Even if it just ran from the Bottle district to the brewery. Wouldn't that have come in handy this weekend.

No to the Northside, it's just canibalizing their buses, unless they've decided on scrapping them. The best bet is to run a park and ride express line out to far west county, run it 10x a day, 5x in the morning (7am-9am), 5x in the evening (4pm-6pm), and that's it. Have like 4 stops, Chesterfield, Town & Country, Creve Coeur, Olivette/Ladue Use it just for business rush, and if it proves to be viable, extend the hours to full. A great station location is the already buit bus transfer station on Ballas & 40 in Creve Coeur. With gas costs increasing, and what would be an essentially all upperclass, white (lets not kid ourselves here) line until it hits clayton, the suburbanites would be far more likely to ride the train. And when 40 becomes a parking lot due to the renovations, it'll be far more useful than lines further into south city or north county, whose residents don't even use 40.

OH god no! Your proposal is like expanding LA's metro to Beverly Hills, before it goes to East LA.

Codascoram is right on in two regards:

First, routing Metrolink north out of downtown will only canablize the exzisting bus system. In many ways that seems unesscary. Besides, I personaly belive that the nothern route would have the least political support. (Putting a route out west would bring alot more support Metro's way)

Second, if and when I-64/ US 40 is expanded, travel will be slow going from all points west of 270 into Clayton and Downtown. It would take more study to see how many riders such a line could attract, however, the construction on the highway might provide the only impetus one can imagein to get people from West county to take Metrolink too and from work.

Codascoram is wrong however, as the line best set for expansion would be a line through South St. Louis city and into the county, meeting up with the cross county line as the map shows. Many of the area's serviced by such a line are the most stable the city has to offer and such a plan would no doubt bolster these area's. Sure a line to the north could spark the creation of everyone's favorit buzzword (TOD's), but if people are intersted in the long term success and expansion of Metrolink, it needs to expand south. Such as line has a better chance for even remotly breaking even and adding enough new riders to create the type of excitment needed to pass tax increases to pay for this stuff.

Outside of the City, Prop M got the most support in North County and Mid-County, not South or West County. So, building it where there's current support wouldn't be anywhere west of Westport or south of Shrewsbury.

But will public transit continue to be a tax as you build system? The public coffers are empty, or at least consumed by other drains. So why not think outside of the box?

The only reason expansion will now be studied for North and South City is due to the sale of economic credits by downtown loft developers to finance the study.

I say let any corridor of the region willing to densify itself have priority, then transit could be bond-financed by a TDD-like mechanism. And if there's land and political will in the City, added density wouldn't be cannabilizing the buses.

So, we can build any direction, with or without current ridership or taxpayer support, but ultimately we need to be willing to build denser land development within a corridor. Otherwise, you can forget any cost-effective MetroLink line, north, south, east or west.

The metrolink was not built to relieve traffic, it was built to revive it. St Louis is not a heavy traffic city. Many of you are forgetting that metrolink has contributed to the increase interest in many St Louis and metro east neighborhoods. North County will benefit greatly from a line, and I believe that after we have expanded to the airport, and to the wealthier urban locations in Mid County, an area like North St Louis most certainly deserves it.

Many in East St Louis use metrolink because they can't afford their own cars at the time. People b**** about ghettos, and often ask ignorant questions such as, "why don't they get jobs?" Metrolink provides transportation so that those people can go to work, where the jobs are. High concentration of jobs are often not found in depressed communities. Metro LINK can provide access to jobs for those in North St Louis, and thus help revive the city of St Louis.

I do not believe in giving more wealth to the already wealthy and ignoring those who need it. Building to West County, before North City, will be just that, IMHO.

Xing you're on target, but just North City would not be enough north because if North County will see a rise in employment at the new business park to be built on formerly Kinloch/Berkley/Furg and today eastern airport property. Many Northians communte to West Port and some can't afford a car so they ride the long bus routes. A line through north city is not enough, we need this tri-fold. North City, North County with the large business park, and South City. After those places have their Metro finished around the same time than south county and lets open this thing up to JeffCo. If they will support it unlike St. Chuck or Westians than they should get it at least to Arnold.

Everyone loves poor people and public transit. The two seem to go hand in hand, but this is not a bus system, or even fixed

guiderail trams. Metrolink is a high speed light rail commuterline. Poor people ride mass transit, but the highest percentage of metro riders are people who can afford a car but choose to ride metro because it's easier than 1. Fighting bridge traffic/highway traffic, and 2. Cheaper than monthly parking.

Now, sending a line through north city really won't improve mass transit ridership as much as you would expect, because all you'd end up doing

is have people who rode the buses start riding the rails, and you might actually lose ridership since metrolink goes to so few locations out in the county where many of these people work. Everyone again loves TOD/TDD. I like it too, but the greatest impact TOD/TDD projects come from large scale, well integrated stations, which St. Louis refuses to build. The Grand stop is a prime example of ruining potential.

Scoff all you want to about rich executives getting a luxury, but the fact is in cities like NYC (the Long Island RR), Chicago (Metra), San Francisco (BART), Boston (MBTA Commuter Lines), etc, these people have commuter park and ride lines, and they use them frequently because of their convienince. Many people use these trains to do work during their commute. How easily can you work on a proposal with a steering wheel in your lap going 55 MPH?

Ducky (Jmed), I know you and I have discussed south city/county many times, but the people who live in that area are far more intolerant of public transit riders (in my opinion, put down your nooses everyone) than are those in west county. Placing a line in south city is tantamount to deseg busing, IMO. Based on my studies and obervational truths, lower income

whites and blacks generally do not get along, and south city is mainly inhabited by lower income whites. I know I said most people who ride metro are upper income people, but a lot of lower income people ride it too, and I can see south city people fighting hard to keep a train line out. There's not a lot of love for the current immigrants in the area (IMO),

adding more ethnicity to the mix might start more serious problems. In regards to cost effectiveness, NO public transit makes a profit, and I believe only NYC comes close to breaking even. No matter where any new line runs it's going to lose money, especially with the honor system fare colletion method Metro uses. I realize this post is rambling, so I'll

make my points more succinct.

1. Metrolink is high speed and high capacity, and high cost. You should place a line where the greatest convienience is received by the largest group able and willing to pay. That would be North and West county, though I strongly feel that any line through north county should bypass the north city as much as possible to avoid conflicts with the bus system

2. Don't think of Metrolink in TOD/TDD terms until Metro, the City & County govt's get together and require all stations to be adequately integrated into the surrouding areas, and provide at least some commercial space in their larger stations.

3. St. Louis is a highly segregated and racist city. Introducing lines into the most racially sensitive areas are probably a very bad idea. I know many will say that West County is racist and segregated, and while this is very true, my proposal was for express lines during morning and evening rush hour. I doubt more minorities will be riding these lines than the same ones that ride the buses currently out to these areas for work. Essentially, if you disguise it as an all white office person line, it becomes easier to swallow for the segregated West County.

4. Seriously, stop with the snide comments, everyone. I do this for a living. So does Jmed. If you don't like what I have to say, fine. Make points in disagreement. But seriously, stop with the snide comments and insults.

Country Day is right. Unfortunately, there are far too many racist idiots in this town that think a metro ride coming near their neighborhood will only bring the black people to rob their house. I like the idea of a westward expansion first, because I think that could speed up the progress of a revamped 64/40 which is really important to transit in STL IMO.

Ok, I see what many of you are saying. Let's build metrolink to Ladue, and give those CEO's their own private stops. That will give the metro more funding. BTW, East St Louis and Belleville have a very rich history of racial conflict. Guess what? No problems yet. In fact, Belleville is in the process of building several new neighborhoods of urban housing, right along metro link stations. Go to the metroeast forum and look for yourself. Oh, and the success of Metrolink in St Clair County, has leaders and citizens in Madison County excited for their own line. I don't see many people there worried about East St Louisans coming to invade their homes.

Don't bow down before the racist fools of this area.

The unfortunate reality is that there is a big difference between Metrolink expansion on the metro-east side and on the Missouri side of the river. You are correct, there does seem to be strong support for the expansion of Metrolink in Illinois. Therefore the politicians have responded and somewhat stepped up to get the expansions. However, that just does not seem to be the case over in Missouri. Despite the expansions in Illinois, you only hear a smattering of publicity in the region wide media about the Illinois expansion?s of Metrolink. Moreover, what little media coverage there is of Metro is mostly negative. These factors play into why people in Missouri seem to be more unwilling to step up and develop a great transportation network with Metro as the leader. Is it sad this is the case? Yeah, you betcha. Does this dictate the political and social reality on how Metro should tailor further expansion plans? Yes it does, if Metro is determined to develop the type public support for Metrolink expansion and operation that already exists in Illinois.

Is there a way to expand Metro from the Airport to Northwest Plaza so that the place gets leveled and replaced with an urban village or is STL County could make it a park? I support Metro, and its future expansions anywhere as soon as possible except Warren County, lol.

Good job Jmed and Coda!

I just read online that the rail company that provided the Post with service transporting newsprint to their printing facility downtown has petitioned the federal rail board to abandon their right of way, since the Post is no longer going have the newsprint delivered by rail. I know this segment of rail ran from the riverfront over I-70 and then entered a tunnel under Tucker to at least Delmar/Convention Plaza. Does anyone know the further extent of this tunnel, if any? I wonder if this tunnel if this tunnel could be redesigned to handle Light Rail as the Eads Bridge Tunnel was. I know that some of the extensions from North City/County plan to enter Downtown roughly along this route. Anyone have any info on this?


Seems like a few years ago there was a KETC 9 special on areas like that around St. Louis and they went down to the rail yard you speak of. I know you can see it along Tucker. But i thought the tunle and ended there at Tucker and didn't go farther. It would be great to know, where and how far it goes and where the line comes from?

I have thought about that with Metrolink, but I have no idea how far it goes either. From what I can remember from under St. Louis from Channel 9 was that it ended at the Post, only going a little further for cars to be spoted past the door. That plaza on Tucker has openings where you can see down into it. There are tons of rail maps around. I think I will look for something next week, if I remember.

That railroad used to supply the Post-Dispatch and I think the Globe-Democrat with newsprint rolls. It used to connect with the McKinley bridge via the rail bridge that now crosses I-70 downtown.

Back on MetroLink, East-West Gateway Council of Governments has issued an RFP for the Northside/Southside Lines. Hopefully something good comes out of it.

Details (40 page pdf)

The believe the rail tunnels were used by commuter railroads to connect the northern Illinois burbs like Granite City, Edwardsville and Alton with downtown. The Globe Democrat building was once a train station, you can still see a train carved into the facade over the main door. The trains came in the basement and people exited the station through street level.

^Now that I think about it, it was originally a commuter line, as you said. You can still see the supports for the old power lines on the elevated rail that runs near 70 and to the bridge. Would be cool to bring metrolink in over that, but it would probably require sharing with freight traffic along part of it, but maybe not. I'll check Trains magazine next month, they should have it in their list of track applied to be abandoned.

Wow, if those commuter lines were abandoned it does sound like an almost ready made Metro route.

I followed the tracks out of downtown to the mckinnley bridge on terraserver, and all I could tell was the part connecting to the bridge is definately abandoned. It looks like there may be a few industries served just north of downtown, but they looked empty. Other than that, I can't see a reason for any other traffic over the whole line, although it does tie into a yard. The only issue I could see is that the tracks went across the middle of the vehicle deck on the bridge. The tracks have been ripped out, but the approach structure remains. I wonder how much weight the whole trestle could handle. Light Rail cars would be lighter than a locomotive and one boxcar of newsprint. It would probably be rebuilt anyway. The real problem is going across the river.

The bridge over I-70 will be torn down if the MRB is ever built. The line is abandoned now. You can still see some tracks if you look down Hadley while travelling down Cass, but they are in bad shape.

Great Rivers Greenway has plans now to make a trail out of the line in question from I-70 to the riverfront trail and across the McKinley bridge.

If they build Metro to north St. Louis it should go down Florissant to Natural Bridge like it shows in the map on the first page. There is so much room (6 lanes plus turn lane)there it could be built on the cheap. Also, the population would be better connected to downtown/IL if a route is built there than on the tracks going to McKinley. I doubt if trains will run over the McKinley bridge ever again.