If you have the cell phone minutes, call Metro every chance you get. Complain, make suggestions about improvements and routes. Ask them to explain how they spend their money, where it comes from, how they make decisions.
(In the sidebar of this blog is a list of questions I have about their service. In the text box OCCUPY METRO EVERY TIME YOU RIDE. **)
Yesterday and today I talked to two different people that suggested petitions. One was a woman that wanted to petition for more bathrooms. She suggested riding the trains and asking everyone that needed to go to the bathroom at that moment to sign the petition.
I think sign and survey: how long do you ride? how long do you have to go without facilities? have you every had to get off the bus or train to go? Do you have a medical condition?
I talked to a woman today that has diabetes and said the buses are torture for her because of her bathroom needs. Another man told me that he saw a woman with a little girl that needed to go the bathroom really bad. She tried to appeal to the Metrolink security to let her little girl use the bus driver's bathroom, but he wouldn't allow it. The little girl went behind the building. What else was she gonna do?
For Bus Service:
Another woman told me about how 12 years ago the residents of Riverview Gardens successfully petitioned to get the #61 bus. There used to only be a bus The Riverview Express. It only ran a few hours and not too many stops.
She said they really had to work hard, though. And a lot of people had to go to the meetings-- the inconvenient monthly public meetings for addressing rider issues.
Here is the link for the monthly meetings. Really informative-- where are they, when do they start, when do they end? No information at all, other than dates. Of course, it is obvious they really don't want to hear from us.
I will find out when and where these meeting are, but calling them to ask is another way to JAM THE PHONE LINES!
I will also be looking into starting petitions- what it requires, how to file it, and so on. Keep checking back for more. Or if you know how, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Board meetings are even more inconvenient, but attending these in large numbers, even if no one spoke, would carry "weight in numbers". Because John Nations (the CEO of Metro that the bus is "too inconvenient for", because his time is SO IMPORTANT) is at these meetings. We need to make him look in our eyes when his agency lies to us about the "great service" it provides.
These meeting are really inconvenient too- 8 AM tomorrow is the next one.
OCCUPY! EVERY TIME YOU RIDE PUBLIC TRANSITWHILE YOU ARE RIDING OR WAITING FOR THE BUS, GET IN TOUCH WITH METRO ABOUT YOUR QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS!
Call or email, if you have the cell phone service, or write a letter to snail mail to Metro/Bi-State about problems with services- including route, schedules, bus stops, etc.
**Ask questions and demand accountability! WE DESERVE DECENT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!
Why don't bus drivers sell day passes the same way they sell two hour transfer tickets (with the $7.50 being paid to the new fare boxes)?
Why aren't 30 day and 7 day passes sold at bus transfer centers? (A monthly or weekly pass is not the same as a 30 day or 7 day pass.)
How are routes, schedules, and fares determined?
When are rider surveys conducted?
How often does the average rider use the bus or train?
How long is the average Metro trip?
How many transfers on the average trip?
How much "wait time" between buses/trains on the average trip?
What fare does the average rider pay, and how?
What is the average rider's income?
What areas use the buses the most?
Who determines where bus stops are placed and who maintains them?
Why don't bus stops have route and schedule information?
Why are so few bus stops covered or provided with trash cans?
Why are there no bathroom at bus and metrolink stations?
Why are the telephone information centers open only 45 hours a week, weekdays, between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM?
What portion of Metro's budget goes to buses and trains, and what funds go to Downtown St. Louis Airport and the Arch trams and Arch Riverboats?
What portion of Metro employees use public transportation?
WHY IS NORTH SAINT LOUIS SO UNDER-SERVED BY METROLINK TRAIN AND BUS TRANSFER CENTERS?
And most importantly:
WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MISERABLE SERVICE THIS AGENCY PROVIDES?
WHAT PERSON OR AGENCY CAN THE PUBLIC APPEAL TO FOR REAL CHANGE?