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81,000 Households in Metro St. Louis Don't Have a Car

Categories: Community
generic bus.jpg
Who knew so many St. Louis households depended on one of these?
The Brookings Institution is out with a study looking at the public transportation access within America's biggest cities, and St. Louis is near the bottom of the list.

According to Brookings, 82 percent of area residents without a car are not within easy access to public transportation. That ranks as the fifth worst in the nation behind Phoenix, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta.

More surprising is how many households in the metro region (including Missouri and Illinois) do not own an automobile.

The study suggests that 81,792 metro households are without a car. That's 7.3 percent of all households. Moreover it takes those without a car more than 90 minutes on public transportation to reach most jobs in the region, according to Brookings, which says that just 31 percent of metro jobs can be reached in 90 minutes or less via public transportation.

The good news is that 100 percent of city residents live within close access to public transit. It's the suburbs that drag the region so low in the rankings.

H/T: St. Louis Business Journal

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7 comments
Kimbo
Kimbo

BTW where is the photo of that bus from? Not her; FOSHO!

Kimbo
Kimbo

Did you think the 55,000 daily metro riders all just prefer the bus and the train to the Rolls sitting in there garage?

Koolhand_03
Koolhand_03

Here is a novel idea: ride a bike.  $500 and you can have a nice new hybrid.  I live three miles from work in the City.  It takes me 15 minutes to drive it, 20 minutes to cycle it, and at 30+ minutes to ride the bus.  Unless it is raining or icy out, why would I want to ride the bus?  There are other non-car, non-Metro transportation options for people who don't have cars.

Virginia Gilbert
Virginia Gilbert

Yes, city residents have access to public transportation, but the lack of public transportation in surrounding counties means we often have long bus rides and long walks at our destination to get to a job or doctor.

J. Brad Hicks
J. Brad Hicks

Because of the decision to route every transfer through MetroLink, it takes about an hour and a half not just to get to any possible job, from MetroBus, but anywhere at all: walk 5 to 10 minutes to a bus stop, arrive at the stop the recommended 10 minutes early, ride the bus for 15 minutes (probably going opposite direction that you want to go), wait 20 minutes for a train, ride the train for 10 minutes, wait 20 to 30 minutes for the bus that takes you the rest of the way, ride that bus for 15 minutes, walk 5 to 10 minutes to where you're going.

And that's under optimum circumstances. Try it on Saturday, and the connection times nearly double, because they run half as many buses and trains. Try it on Sunday, and it gets even worse if it can be done at all: in addition to the Saturday slowdown, some buses don't even run at all. Too bad that an awful lot of the area's jobs that pay too little to afford a car also involve working weekends. They also not infrequently involve working third shift, when St. Louis has no mass transit options at all, period.

St. Louis is what happens when a city's mass transit service is run, managed, and mostly even operated by people who don't ride mass transit.

graestan
graestan

I've been considering ditching the car as well, but truth be told, I've tried Metro out enough times to know that my life would be like that of a Hobbit never leaving his particular corner of the Shire. If I ever wanted to go anywhere special besides work (like the bank, for instance), it would be an odyssey of at least an hour each way. We need to look at CTA and the system in DC as good examples of how we can improve. 20 minutes (on a good route on a good day) between stops is ridiculous.

Virginia Gilbert
Virginia Gilbert

Well said, especially your comments about weekend transportation. The only weekend job that is easily accessible is working at  the stadium during ballgames.

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