For many area residents, the thought of using mass transit comes with a mass number of questions like – What route do I take? How long does it take? Where do I purchase tickets? What if I take the MetroLink to work and later need my car? To help combat these questions and help area residents overcome some of the perceived hurdles associated with using public transit for the workday commute, Citizens for Modern Transit introduced its Try & Ride program earlier this summer. Within the first month, more than 250 people registered for the program further underscoring its need. In response to its popularity, Citizens for Modern Transit has decided to expand its reach by offering the program in Spanish.
“Many shy away from public transportation due to the fear of the unknown,” commented Kim Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “The goal of our new Try & Ride program is to help new users navigate the St. Louis transit systems and ultimately enable them to experience firsthand all that these extremely viable modes have to offer. By offering the program in Spanish, we are able to expand our reach in the St. Louis community and help even more people get on board with transit.”
Those interested can log on to www.cmt-stl.org and click on “El programa “Trate y Viaje” ahora disponible en español” to read more about the program and to register in Spanish. Upon registering, each program participant receives a Spanish version of the packet in the mail with a personalized transit route for the work commute, a month of complimentary tickets, a journal to capture stories and write down reminders, and a list of tips and tricks for using transit. Registration also enrolls them in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides the user with a cab ride home or rental car in the case of an emergency or unexpected schedule change at work. In turn, participants are required to travel to work via MetroLink or MetroBus three to four days per week over a two-month period, and take two, short surveys along the way so Citizens for Modern Transit can gain user insight and track the progression of the program.
The program is available to any Missouri or Illinois resident who is a new rider to the MetroLink or Metro Bus. There is no fee to participate in the Try & Ride Program. The only out-of-pocket expense is the cost of the second month of the participant’s fare. However, Citizens for Modern Transit reminds area workday commuters many local businesses and organizations offer transit subsidies that pay for all, or a portion of, the cost to take transit. Individuals can visit www.cmt-stl.org or call 314-231-7272 to obtain a complete listing of companies offering transit benefit programs.
Cella adds, “A lot of people rely on our region’s transit systems. In fact, the average weekday ridership on the MetroLink is over 53,000, while the MetroBus attracts even more with over 95,700. That is nearly 150,000 rides every single day. And, those numbers continue to increase. We believe those who choose to give transit a try will end up being pleasantly surprised and ultimately end up making it part of their regular commute.”
This program is sponsored in part by the St. Clair County Transit District for residents in Illinois. For more information about Citizens for Modern Transit and the new Try & Ride program, visit www.cmt-stl.org or call (314) 231-7272. You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @cmt_stl.
Citizens for Modern Transit is a not-for-profit organization in St. Louis whose mission is to expand the light rail system in order to build more sustainable, accessible communities in the region.