What Do You Do On Transit?

Most of the time when I ride transit, I either watch the city go by out the window or I catch up on news on my iPhone which means I don’t often take note of what others are doing. On my morning commute the other day I happened to look up and see a row of people on the MetroLink all with noses in their books.

I couldn’t help but smile at how awesome that was to see so I looked around to see what others in the car were doing as well. Others within eye shot were reading the paper, playing with smartphones, listening to music, reading, talking with friends, and some just relaxing enjoying the ride.

I absolutely love being able to hop on Metro and not have to worry about driving or traffic or or gas or parking; rather my worries are more in the vein of what to read next or what music to listen to or what beautiful brick architecture will I see next. Such deep, deep worries indeed.

What do you do while you ride transit?

You, Global Warming, And Hurricane Sandy

I’m about 99% certain this isn’t going to be a popular thing to say but I’m going to say it anyway because it’s been on my mind, the craziness that was Hurricane Sandy and all the damage in its wake is a direct result of global warming.

Global warming is real people, Sandy wasn’t just a hundred year storm (didn’t we just have one of those last year anyway?). Storms like Sandy are going to be the norm from here on out until we begin doing something proactive about it.

Though it may not have come up in any of the presidential debates (!!!), this is the most pressing issue of our time. Climate change isn’t some vague concept that we often like to tell ourselves, we’re seeing the results of it here in the US, and those results are very scary. We can not continue to bury our heads in the ground in hopes the issue will disappear.

The only hope for any sort of positive result is an immediate and drastic change in lifestyle and attitude on a large-scale and that needs to start right here, right now.

As many of you know, I’m completely transit dependent as are many of my friends, and many of you readers. By not driving and thus not to supporting multibillion dollar oil companies with seemingly unlimited budgets devoted to lobbying to keep us on this disastrous track we make a stand and a difference.

Dear readers, I ask to implore your more personal vehicle friendly friends and family to take transit more often.  Go with them, show them it can be done, show them how to do it, let them see people just like them ride the bus and train every single day, help them break the habit, start simple, start small, and go from there.

We as an entire community need to change our ways and we need to do it now.

Less is More, Vote Yes On Prop R

On November 6th when you head to your local polling place, city residents it’s very important that you vote yes on Proposition R. Prop R will reduce the number of wards and thus Alderpeople in the city from the current of 28 to 14 in 2021 based on data gathered from the 2020 census.

Why I hope many of you ask, well the current citizen to Alderperson ratio has been in place since 1914, a time when such an amount of wards was needed; such is not the case today.

Or as NextSTL so eloquently put it:

Reducing the size of the Board of Alderman is about who runs the city, who is listened to, who has a say in the future of St. Louis. With just 11,000 constituents and perhaps fewer than half that many registered voters, aldermen serve a very small constituency. With voter turnout low, keep 1,200 people happy and you remain in office.

It’s about keeping city government accountable.

OK, so what does this have to do with alternative transit? I thought this blog was about transit.

You’re right, this blog is about transit and Prop R passing or not will have an impact on public transit in St. Louis. We live in a city divided sometimes block by block, along ward, class, and racial lines inside a region divided between City and County. Things are fractured. Transit in general does a wonderful job of bridging those gaps though it can’t do it alone.

By voting to reduce the number of Alder People, which is fully supported by the current Board of Alder People, you’ll be voting to move St. Louis in step with the times, be voting to heal a fractured community, and be voting to move the region and thus transit in the region forward.

Please don’t just take my word for it, here’s a few others also in favor of Prop R:

Tapping Into Transit: A Look At High Speed Rail St. Louis To Chicago

Citizens for Modern Transit and the Vanguard Cabinet’s Transportation Committee present Tapping Into Transit, a presentation on the progress and future of high speed rail from Saint Louis to Chicago. Midwest High Speed Rail Association Executive Director Rick Harnish will provide attendees with a dynamic update on the status of the high speed rail initiative.

Tapping Into Transit is a series of educational forums, engaging the public with developments, new ideas and how to get involved in transit-related affairs. These events seek to connect community leaders, businesses and a myriad of resources with the information to make Saint Louis more interconnected through alternative transit solutions.

Those who take Metro to the good event will get a complementary return pass!

Here’s the where, when, and a few more details:

Where: Sheraton Downtown St. Louis (right next to Civic Center Station)

When: Nov. 14, 2012 5:00 – 7:00Pm

And here’s the Facebook event.

Hope to see you all there!

5th Annual MetroProm Right Around Corner!

Tired of the political attack ads on television? Step away from the tube and into the nation’s first and largest transit prom! In its fifth year, MetroLink Prom will pay homage to our greatest civic duty – participating in our great democracy during election year. Instead of electing a Prom King and Queen, we will elect a Prom President and Prom Vice-President (First Ladies and Gentlemen get recognized, too, of course). Accordingly, this year we encourage patriotic Promwear—something red, white, and blue, if possible—and we always love costumed attendees (looking forward to your best rendition of Abraham Lincoln—or Sarah Palin).

What: 5Th Annual MetroLink Prom

Who: All lovers of mass transit, formalwear, and democracy

Where: Meet at Grand MetroLink Station, 7pm

When: Saturday, October 20, 2012, 7:00pm

How Much: Just a two-hour pass (please buy one!)

Just like it sounds – a full-blown, high school-style prom aboard your favorite transit system. Dress in your finest attire—try to wear something patriotic and/or red, white, and blue—and meet us at the Grand MetroLink Station on Saturday, October 20th at 7 p.m. We’ll direct you from there. When we arrive at the Richmond Heights Station, we’ll march to the Boulevard development across from the Saint Louis Galleria and award the night’s finest dressed (America-themed formalwear or costumes) and most patriotic with the title of Prom President and Prom Vice President before riding back to the Grand Station. Along the way, live bands, including the Takedown, will keep us dancing and entertained.

We will then proceed to our after-party at Six Row Brewing Company (3690 Forest Park Avenue, 63108; less than a half mile from the Grand Station).

For more information, please visit the event’s Facebook page or website.
Also, event details may be found at

Hosts: City Affair (http://cityaffairstl.tumblr.com)

Website: http://www.metrolinkprom.com

Overheard While Biking Last Night

Last evening while biking home through The Grove I heard perhaps the best reason to visit The Handlebar yet. It came from a fellow biker who may or may not have been a tad inebriated (but does it really matter?!) and it went a little something like this as we rode side by side…

Him: You headin’ to The Handlebar tonight?

Me: Not tonight.

Him: You ever been there?

Me: Yep.

Him: That place is awesome man.

Me: Yeah it is.

Him: Handlebar, it’s like…ride your bike there, meet a babe, y’all ride your bikes back to your place, awe yeah.

Yep, their’s a lot of interactions and experiences that you simply don’t have when you drive.

I'm Officially Abandoning The @TransitTP Twitter Account

This is really more of a housekeeping type of post than anything and relevant only to those who tweet but I’m officially abandoning the @TransitTP Twitter account.  Don’t worry I’m not giving up on the social network all together; I’m still keeping my personal account. Managing two accounts is just too much work for something that’s not supposed to be work.

So expect all transit and related tweets to be found on my personal Twitter – Jaechick – all mixed in with everything else I like to talk about which honestly is the way it’s been for months now.


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In review; @TransitTP – no more, @Jaechick that’s where I’ll be tweeting transit day in, day out as well as updates when a new post goes live.

Bus Bike Racks Are Filling Up!

Twice in the past week I’ve been onboard a MetroBus which had to pass up at least one person with a bike because both slots in the bike rack were already full. Both times it wasn’t during peak hours, first was on a Saturday afternoon and the second was a Monday afternoon, both times the buses were full though not over crowded.

Surly I thought, there must be a way to carry more than two bikes at a time especially if we expect more of the St. Louis population to use alternative transit in the near future. I found King County buses in Seattle are capable of carrying three bikes but it looks like that’s where things get maxed out.

Jarrett Walker of Human Transit responded to the bus bike rack issue last month:

But when you consider the real problem, on-board bus racks cannot possibly be the long-term answer.  Obviously, bus drivers hate anything that reduces their visibility, including downward at something or someone that they’re about to run over.  The broader issue is simply that bikes take space, even when they’re outside the bus frame, and taking that space has consequences.

For example, exterior bike racks increase the length of the bus.  That means the bus needs a longer bus stop zone, needs more room to turn, etc., and this can easily make the difference in whether a bus line can get through a tight spot where its service is needed, or has to make a detour around it.  Small racks are widely accepted in North America now, but in the long run it should be obvious that bike racks on buses only work if they’re not very popular.  The long term solution has to be a range of bike parking and bike rental stations at stations.  This is what you’ll see in bicycle-dominated countries in Europe.

It’s interesting and bitter-sweet indeed that bike racks on buses only work if they’re not popular. Is St. Louis at a point where we need to reexamine our bus/bike relationship? This past summer I’ve seen more bikers on the road than previous years and that growth is amazing but as with any growth comes growing pains. I’ve already seen many new bike racks pop up around the city but what would it take to begin a bike sharing program here as well?

Drink The Link Is Right Around The Corner

Yes, it’s that time again. What time is that you say? It’s Drink the Link time ladies and gentlemen.

Oh yes, who in St. Louis doesn’t like drinking and alternative transit or at least one of the two? We thought so…

This year we’ll be branching out onto MetroBus as well to bring you as much alternative transit fun one night can possibly handle!

So here’s the deal:

  • We’ll be starting out at Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop beginning at 5:50 pm August 31
  • Arrive at Kota Wood Fire Grill at about 7:00 and stay for about an hour
  • Depart at 8:05 aboard a southbound #70 Grand bus, transferring onto MetroLink at the NEWLY OPENED Grand Station
  • Arrive at Mercury Sports Bar by 8:45 at Stadium MetroLink Station
  • Depart Mercury by 9:30 aboard an eastbound MetroLink
  • Arrive at Bridge by 10:00 at 8th & Pine MetroLink Station
  • Depart Bridge by 11:00 aboard an eastbound MetroLink
  • Arrive at Mosaic by 11:30 at Convention Center Station

I think it goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway, these times are our current best estimates. We’ll be doing our best to stick to the schedule but you know how these things go?!

If you’ll be catching us en route, we’ll be making updates via twitter (both myself & Charles) but perhaps it’d be best to call/text me – (314) 488-3200.