Transit ridership in North St. Louis County is strong and growing. It is the region’s fastest growing transit market, and currently accounts for almost one-fifth of MetroBus ridership in Missouri. Despite this high demand and expanding market, the area lacks adequate bus transfer hubs to support a more effective “hub-and-spoke” service strategy. Metro has been realigning the entire transit system to operate in this manner, where shorter collector routes transport customers to permanent transfer facilities, where they may access more direct, higher-frequency connections to regional employment centers and other major destinations.
In order to meet the needs in North County, Metro intends to build a facility capable of providing both a major transfer hub and a bus garage and maintenance facility. The location analysis and site selection process were based on both of those needs. Metro will proceed with the design for both phases and plans to construct both elements concurrently, but based on funding constraints, the project could potentially proceed in two phases. Phase I will meet the community’s immediate need for a permanent, highly visible bus transfer center. It will provide a high level of passenger amenities, parking, vending, retail space, AVL technology, and potential tenant space. Phase II will meet Metro’s longer-term need for an additional bus garage including dispatch and full service maintenance capabilities.
Metro has been actively engaging the surrounding community and encouraging early involvement from community leaders. Metro’s vision for the project blends elements from the surrounding community and also meets the needs of the citizens in the adjacent communities. In preparation for this Project, Metro has purchased two parcels on Pershall Road. One of the parcels, approximately 3 acres, contains a relatively new and well-maintained, two-story structure, previously occupied by an automobile dealership. The parcel also includes extensive areas of asphalt pavement. The parcel was obtained on February 9, 2012. The existing structure will be renovated and reconfigured to serve as the Bus Transfer Center. The other parcel, approximately 5.6 acres, was obtained on February 15, 2013, as a relatively undeveloped site. It will be used to accommodate the bus garage/maintenance facility, employee parking lot, and other operational features.
The proposed North County Transit Center Phase II project addresses three transportation concerns: accommodation of larger vehicles and community interest in development of bus rapid transit, additional operating, dispatch and maintenance capabilities, and finally improving the efficiency of Metro’s Bus Operations. The North County Transit Center – Phase II project will provide dispatching for both bus and paratransit vehicles as well as full maintenance capabilities. Dispatching vehicles from this facility within the heart of one of Metro’s strongest and fastest growing markets will result in significant savings in deadhead miles and hours, thereby reducing Metro’s direct operating costs.
Read more on plans for the transfer station here.