There were some exciting highs for transit this year in St. Louis including the award of a $10.4 million TIGER grant for a new light rail station on the existing MetroLink alignment and enhancements to the busiest station on the St. Louis system, the Central West End Station. In addition, CMT just recently commissioned a study to look for possible funding mechanisms for transit to ensure the system St. Louis has moves forward.
However with regards to actual transit ridership, a CMT highlight from 2014 was the launch of the Try & Ride Program. For years, the organization has been working on ways to increase ridership on the transit system through programs, advocacy and education. This year, the Try & Ride program was a culmination of all three to produce an incentive program that may just have bridged the gap between education/advocacy to action.
As of December 16, 2014, more than 1,300 people have registered for the program and are giving transit a try – more than 74 percent over the 2 year goal in exactly six months!
CMT’s Try & Ride program is an incentive program that provides a month worth of transit tickets for the work commute and a personalized route to work in exchange for committing to take transit to work at least 3 days a week for two months. Participants are asked to complete a survey at the end of the first month and at the end of the second month, and the data from these surveys is invaluable. It will be compiled and sent to Metro and East-West Gateway in a report designed to inform their efforts.
“The Try & Ride program demonstrates people will ride transit if we help them over the initial perceived hurdles. The extra incentives built into this program seem to be able to bridge the gap from education to actual lifestyle change. What is even better, the survey results are showing more and more riders committing to using transit after the initial two month period. We are excited to see how much more this program can grow and bring in new riders,” said Kim Cella, CMT Executive Director.
An overview of the data received to date from the 2nd survey is provided below. If you are interested in Trying & Riding, register today!
- Even though the commitment required is to use transit for their work commute at least 3 times a week, 40% of riders are using it 5 days a week.
- 43% of riders use a bus and train combo route. 35% take MetroLink only. 38% take MetroBus only.
- 43% have less than .25 miles to walk to their boarding point, and 44% have less than .25 miles to walk to their final destination after boarding.
- Only 27% of riders list a longer commute as their biggest transit hurdle.
- 52% of riders say that the cost savings of taking transit is their biggest benefit to transit use. 40% say its less stress and 37% say that more time to themselves is their favorite part of commuting by transit.
- 62% of riders say they’ll stick with transit after the program ends. 26% say they might stick with it. Only 12% say they won’t.
- 55% say they use transit outside of their work commute.
- 69% of participants own their own car.
- 61% of participants are female.
- 75% of participants are between the ages of 25 & 54, 30% between the age of 25 & 34.
Stay tuned for more in 2015 and consider test driving transit today with CMT’s Try & Ride!