Warmer weather, a sunnier economy, and higher gas prices are driving more riders to public transportation in St. Louis. Overall Metro ridership was up 8 percent in the last half of 2011 compared to the previous year.
Dianne Williams is Metro's director of communications.
"Twenty-three million times someone stepped on a metro bus, a metro train, or a metro caller ride. That's up about 2 million boardings from the same period last year," Williams said.
Starting next month, passengers who ride MetroLink or Metro buses will be be able to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables at certain transit centers.
The mass transit agency is partnering with the Sappington Farmers Market community program, Mobile Market, to sell locally-grown farm foods in areas where nearby residents have little or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
A months-long project that will involve grinding Metrolink’s entire system of rails begins Friday night.
It’s the first time since the late 1990’s that Metro has done the grinding on its light rail line. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams says it will make the track more smooth and improve riders' experience.
"It needs to be done periodically. It simply extends the life of the rail, and that's a big investment in the track," Williams said.
The work will be done at night, which means people may see bright red sparks where the grinding of metal on metal is being done.
The St. Louis County prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for a man who pointed a gun at a MetroLink security officer.
The warrants are for 29-year-old Dominic L. Webb of North County for one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of unlawful possession of a concealable firearm. The bond was set at $20,000.
A security officer saw a disturbance between Webb and another man at the Hanley MetroLink platform on Tuesday, Jan. 24 around 4 p.m. The security officer intervened and Webb pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the officer.