As the regional transit advocacy organization in St. Louis, Citizens for Modern Transit is continually looking for ways to build consensus in the community on the importance of transit while also actually helping to build ridership on the system. Over the last several years, CMT has expanded this unique programming in the hopes of increasing the number of incentives in place to give transit a try in this region. These programs encourage people to try transit and discover its many benefits. Below is a description of some of their programs:
The Try & Ride Program offers residents an opportunity to give transit a try by helping new riders recognize the benefits of using public transit and how easy it is to make it a regular part of their commute to work and school. To participate in the program, one can sign up via a mail-in form or online. Riders must commit to riding public transit at least three times a week for two months and participating in two surveys for CMT. In return, CMT will provide free transit tickets for the first month and a personalized route if requested. There have been more than 4,000 participants to date and 68% of participants have reported continuing to use transit to commute to work and school after being a part of the program.
Zimride is a new program that CMT, in partnership with Enterprise, has launched in the St. Louis region to help connect individuals who need a ride with those who have an extra seat in order to provide another option for commuting to work and school. The goal is to help eliminate any gaps that may exist between public transit stops and a user’s home, work, or school. To use Zimride, you can register online and create a profile for your Zimride network. From there, you can search for a ride and get matched with other people in your network. While the program is free, if you decide to split the cost of gas with your fellow Zimrider, you can pay securely online through Zimride. You can also review fellow riders and drivers online.
Guaranteed Ride Home
The Guaranteed Ride Home program partners with area employers to offer their employees who commute to work via public transit, biking or walking a safety net for expedited rides home. The program works as an incentive for those who already commute to work via public transit and bicycling and those who are thinking about making the switch to transit. The program provides immediate transportation in case of personal emergency, sickness, or unscheduled overtime for registered program participants. Participants are able to catch a cab or rent a car to get home when an emergency pops up and public transit is no longer a feasible option. Participants can be reimbursed for such emergency rides up to 4 times a year, up to $60 per ride. CMT has partnered with more than 175 employers and over 15,000 participants thus far.
The Ten Toes program helps individuals lead healthier lives by linking activity, sociability, and exercise with the use of transit. Volunteer led walking groups plan weekly walking trips around the city utilizing transit to reach their destinations. Walks vary from 0.3-5 miles in length and can last one-three hours in duration. There is a Spring session and a Fall session, each lasting 12 weeks long. Registration is required to participate in the program, along with a $10 fee. Each participant receives a walking kit which includes 4 free 2-hour transit passes, a pedometer to count daily steps, and an over-the-shoulder Ten Toes Express bag for keeping necessities close at hand and organized. This program has been in operation for 10 years and has had more than 8,000 participants.
Enterprise CarShare is a carsharing program that has cars available to rent throughout St. Louis. Carsharing is a great compliment to riding transit by allowing riders to utilize transit and also share a car when necessary. For those who have ruled out transit because they need their car during the middle of the day for errands or to get to meetings, CarShare is the perfect answer- providing them an option and an even bigger incentive to use transit. Cars can be rented by the hour, for the day, or overnight. Membership is required to participate in CarShare and is open to anyone ages 21 and up with a valid driver’s license and a valid credit card.
The Metrolink Monitor Program works to monitor the quality and condition of all 37 Metrolink stations. Volunteers observe and record conditions at the stations and report their findings to CMT on a monthly basis. CMT then shares this information with Metro to help inform their operations. The Metrolink Monitor survey can be found online along with a Metrolink Station Report Card.
CMT’s Commuter Choice Program allows employers who currently provide their employees with subsidized or free parking another option. With four different program options, transit subsidy, flexible work schedules, cash out parking, and guaranteed ride home, CMT can assist employers in creating other commuter packages for their employees. Utilizing these commuter choice options, the employer is able to attract and retain young talent, enhance employee benefit packages, and demonstrate the company’s investment in their workforce and community. More information of the different program options can be found online at CMT’s website or in the CMT Commuter Choice Toolkit.
More information on all of these programs is available on the website or by calling 314.231.7272.