With the calendar showing March 30, the day Metro debuts its drastically reduced schedule, what better way to usher in the new era of Metro service cutbacks than a top ten list of the benefits to the St. Louis region for having reduced public transit services?
Number Ten: No comfy train waiting at the platform
Number Nine: A banner day for cab drivers
Number Eight: Cheery station agents have way more people waiting to greet them
Number Seven: Fewer times riding in a car getting stuck behind a bus stopped to pick up passengers
Number Six: Fewer "bus people" coming to the neighborhood
Number Five: At the end of the year, I have about $60 bucks more in my wallet
Number Four: No further Metrolink expansion for at least another 20 years
Number Three: Transit riders have increased waiting times to ride longer and more circuitous routes to their destinations.
Number Two: Speeds up our personal timeframe to buy a second car
and, The Number One reason to celebrate the region's reduction in public transportation services: Lots of free plastic bags all over town being used to cover up bus stop signs on closed routes
All joking aside, this situation sucks on a variety of levels. People depending on public transportation have fewer options. Neighborhoods looking to position themselves with the benefits of improved public transportation have to put their plans on hold. St. Louis is less connected.
A Metro staff person handing out the new reduced service schedule at the station this morning said they hoped these cut backs would be short lived. Without a replacement source of revenue, the question is, how?