CBS television hit “The Amazing Race” to raise awareness about the many viable transportation options available in our region. CMT’s GREAT RACE 2016: Linking the Last Mile will demonstrate how seamlessly biking, taking MetroBus and MetroLink, carsharing and walking can be integrated, while also reinforcing the importance of having access to resources within a mile of MetroLink stations. The event is set for Thursday, May 12 during the evening work commute. The race will culminate with a free finish line celebration in the form of a CMT Metro Market that is open to the public from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Cortex Commons, located at 4240 Duncan Ave. (63110), which is adjacent to the future site of the Boyle Street MetroLink Station in Midtown St. Louis.
“We want workday commuters to know there are a number of very viable transportation options available in our region that extend beyond sitting in long lines of traffic congestion,” commented Kim Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “This race shines a light on these various modes and helps prove they are timely, easy to use and advantageous. It also is designed to inform the community that most transit users’ final destinations are within one mile of the transit station they utilize. As a result, there is a critical need for available goods and services surrounding MetroBus and MetroLink stations.”
This year’s race will place Team EAST against Team WEST. Team EAST will feature Tony Patrico, Co-host of “The Rizzuto Show” on 105.7 The Point; Meghan O, On-Air Talent with Radio One’s Hot 104.1; Angela Hutti, Fox 2 Meteorologist; Matt Chambers, Meteorologist and Host/Producer of “Great Day St. Louis” on KMOV Ch. 4; Jill Moon, Lifestyles editor and assistant content editor of The Alton Telegraph; Wiley Price, Staff Photojournalist of The St. Louis American; Palmer Alexander III, Sports Columnist for of The St. Louis American; and representatives from Citizens for Modern Transit, Great Rivers Greenway, Metro Transit/Bi-State Development and Enterprise CarShare. Team WEST will be represented by Guy Phillips, Host of the “Phillips & Company Morning Show” on Y98; Rizzuto, Host of “The Rizzuto Show” on 105.7 The Point; Brady Hempen, The Big 550 KTRS Show Director; Don Corrigan, Editor of the Webster-Kirkwood Times, the South County Times and West End Word newspapers; Chris King, Editor of The St. Louis American; Mariah Stewart, Ferguson Fellow for the Huffington Post and The St. Louis American; a news team member from KSDK Newschannel 5; Darian Wigfall, NineLAB Assistant Manager and Director of Artist Management and Development at Farfetched; and representatives from Citizens for Modern Transit, Great Rivers Greenway, Metro Transit/Bi-State Development and the Clean Air Partnership.
Team EAST will bike along the MetroBikeLink to the Fairview MetroLink Station where they will meet up with additional team members and take the train to the Grand MetroLink Station. From there, using Enterprise CarShare vehicles, they will drive, in rush-hour traffic, to Cortex Commons, park their vehicles and walk to the finish line. TeamWEST will be taking the MetroBus from Hampton @ Clayton Ave to the Forest Park MetroLink Station. Here, they will meet up with bikers who will be riding from UMSL and, together, take the MetroLink to the Central West End Station and walk to the finish line at Cortex Commons. Whichever team makes it to the finish line first wins.
The finish line celebration will feature a few formal remarks by dignitaries and the awarding of trophies and bragging rights to the winning team. This will be followed by a pop-up CMT Metro Market that will showcase how we can “Link the Last Mile,” by having access to resources like food, services, entertainment within a mile of MetroLink stations. This event will feature food and retail trucks including Rack + Clutch, Destination Desserts and Taco STL; a bicycle tune-up station, hosted by Big Shark Bicycle Company; live music by FIRE DOG, and informational booths from local community organizations. Attendees will also have the opportunity to exercise their artistic sides by helping paint a MetroBus through a Metro Arts in Transit initiative.
There will also be a special panel discussion from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. titled, “Rethinking the Last Mile with CMT.” It will be featured as part of the Venture Café Gathering held every Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. at Cortex Commons to support the innovation and entrepreneurial community. The panel will feature representatives from Metro Transit/Bi-State Development, the Equal Housing Opportunity Council and other stakeholders from the region who will discuss issues regarding development and infrastructure near transit. It will be followed by breakout discussion groups that focus on the challenges and possibilities for transit and the last mile in our region.
CMT’s Great Race 2016: Linking the Last Mile event is being made possible thanks to CMT’s many sponsors and partners including AARP in St. Louis, Musick Construction, BJC HealthCare, Eastern Missouri Laborers District Council, AECOM, Washington University, Metro Transit, Central States Bus Sales, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the Clean Air Partnership, Enterprise CarShare and Great Rivers Greenway.
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.