Forest Park’s trolley service adds 2nd route
Beginning Saturday, the Forest Park bus trolley will have two routes instead of one. The blue route and green route will serve attractions in the western and eastern parts of the park separately.
The two different routes will help with passenger convenience and easier navigation through the park, said Ray Friem, executive director of Metro Transit.
“By breaking it into the east and into the west route — the green and the blue trolley line, if you will — you actually have a much faster pathway to your directive,” Friem said.
Metro Transit, along with the City of St. Louis’ Parks Department and Forest Park Forever, a private nonprofit conservancy that helps to maintain and sustain the park, announced the change of operation Thursday.
The blue line will serve attractions on the west side like the Zoo and the Art Museum. The green line will bring people to east locations like the Jewel Box, and Science Center and Planetarium, Friem said.
Both lines will operate in 15 minute intervals on weekends. On weekdays, the Eastern route will switch to 30 minute intervals, Friem said.
Frank Kartmann, senior vice president of operations of Forest Park Forever, said that the two routes will help the system to operate faster, with less wait times in between stops. The new system should have fewer delays during big events, he said.
“[The trolley routes] will operate in a way that it’s not competing with the 5K runs and walks in the park, which will allow it to be more efficient as well,” Kartmann said.
According to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, Forest Park is the most popular destination in the St. Louis region.
With 13 million visitors last year, approximately 26,000 day tickets were sold for the Forest Park trolley in 2016, Friem said.
“As the years have been going on, people have become more and more aware of [the trolley route] and are actually looking for it,” Friem said.
Day tickets remain at $2 for adults and $1 for children ages 5 to 12, seniors and disabled persons.
The trolleys will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day starting Saturday until Labor Day, Sept. 4.
“I wouldn’t expect the new system to be 100 percent perfect, but I do think every year we get a little bit better on this and I’m looking forward to a really good year,” Friem said.
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