I climbed aboard the Twin Oaks Express this morning, but it was forty minutes before anyone joined me.
The Metro route runs from the Ballas station in Town and Country to the Convention Center in downtown St. Louis. The entire trip takes about an hour and forty minutes. I was alone for nearly half of it. In all, a total of eight passengers were on the bus. I was one of them.
Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams says the route is expected to cost $538,000, although fares will offset some of the expenses. The restored route is part of a comprehensive plan to restore seven routes, and enhance and add others. The entire plan will cost $12 million, courtesy of the state of Missouri.
The riders I talked with today were happy to get back on the bus. Many of them carpooled, or drove themselves to work. The bus lets them socialize, sleep or get some work done on the way to their jobs.
I used to ride the train quite a bit, sometimes 4-5 days a week. When I ride I always like to read a book for pleasure, something I rarely get to do.
Even though few people took advantage of the express route today, Metro is committed to it, at least for now. If it becomes clear that virtually no one is riding it on some routes, Metro apparently has some flexibility in how it spend the money, and the transit agency may put its resoucres somewhere else.
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