Jessica Mefford-Miller | St. Louis Public Radio

Jessica Mefford-Miller

Strong Economy Has Left Metro, Other Transit Agencies Desperate For Bus Drivers

Aug 7, 2019
The 70 Grand bus stops near St. Louis University in December 2018.
File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

A MetroBus driver shortage that prompted two days of delays for riders last month may be part of a larger, nation-wide problem.

On July 21 and 31, Metro told St. Louis mass transit customers on both sides of the river to expect delays due to a shortage of drivers.

The shortages were caused when Metro found its workers were unwilling or unavailable to work an extra shift.

The 70 Grand bus stops near St. Louis University in December 2018.
File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

From the announcement of MetroBus service shifts coming this fall, to record-setting MetroLink ridership the day of the St. Louis Blues parade last month, to security challenges, the past year and a half has proved to be a pivotal time for Metro Transit

On Thursday, Metro Transit announced its final plans to overhaul its Missouri-side bus services in the St. Louis region. The plan, based on rider feedback and several years of studies, underwent multiple revisions in 2018. The changes will begin taking effect Sept. 30.

The Cortex MetroLink Station is the 38th station to come to fruition within the light-rail system, which first began service in 1993. The grand opening is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 31.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

MetroLink riders along the central corridor will soon have a new spot to hop aboard both red- and blue-line trains.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed what the new Cortex MetroLink Station and other plans in the works could mean for the future of transit in the region.

Joining him to talk about it were Jessica Mefford-Miller, interim executive director of Metro Transit, and June McAllister Fowler, the newly announced board chair for Citizens for Modern Transit.

Jessica Mefford-Miller has taken the lead on Metro Transit’s draft plan outlining a new approach to public mobility in the region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Despite increased use of public transportation among young adults, overall ridership numbers in the St. Louis region have been on the decline the past four years. And that trend is part of the motivation behind Metro Transit’s newly unveiled hopes for its MetroBus service.

“That’s one of the reasons we need to take a fresh look at our system and make some changes to ensure that we’re providing service that meets the needs of our customers and provides a quality, fast ride,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, assistant executive director for transit planning and system development.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

The Number 70 Grand bus is Thelonda Malone’s primary source of transportation — besides her feet. 

Malone uses the Metro Transit's busiest bus route to get to and from work. She says it’s useful. But some aspects of the ride could use some improvement.

For one thing: When Malone gets off work at 5:30 p.m., she says she has a “50 percent chance of even being able to get on the bus.” If Malone does catch that second bus, she usually has to stand.

Metro raises fares

May 18, 2012
St. Louis Public Radio

Metro Transit’s governing board voted Friday to increase the cost of passes and transfers starting in July.

According to Metro’s Chief of Planning and System Development, Jessica Mefford-Miller: