Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Buses aren't just slow and exhausting, they are dehydrating.

This is a common complaint and topic of conversation (second only to fares and slow service) about riding Metro transit.

My average trip by public transportation-- from the time I leave my front door, and including all the waiting between transfers-- is two hours.

An hour before I leave I stop drinking.  I'll go to the bathroom a few times, and always right before I leave.

Because at most Metrolink stations and Metro bus centers, there are no bathrooms.  And if you have to get off the bus to go to the bathroom, you are going to be late.  (And you might have a really long wait between buses.  Also, you may not be able to find a place that will let you use their bathroom without buying something, and if all you have is bus fare, well, then...)

If I am going somewhere for awhile, no problem re-hydrating.  But when I am going to a lot of places, with a lot of stops along the way (like job-hunting), I just go thirsty.

It is ridiculous, RIDICULOUS! and shameful that Metro does not address this.  They have all these excuses to make, and blame to place elsewhere, but USING THE TOILET IS A BASIC HUMAN NEED!

Metro is planning to use some of its development money (which the government does not allow them to use to improve existing services) to re-do the Civic Center bus bay.  Apparently, there are 16 bus lines that come through there and only 8 bays.  Even though the bus bay is not overcrowded, and runs fine the way it is.

(There is enough room for the buses to park in the bay while driver's take their breaks.  I catch the #74 there frequently and the driver's always have a 20 to 40 minute break-- at least in my observations.  Usually they will let people board and wait on the bus before they leave to go on their breaks.  Yet another reason to love bus drivers.)

Metro needs to address this issues and dump that plan for the Civic Center Bus Bay.  I am sorry that Metro executives are so clueless on what their priorities should be.

The North Hanley station needs bathrooms the most.  I'd be willing to bet that some of the longest transit trips have a stop at North Hanley.  To get from north St Louis city or county to one of those jobs in the county and Earth City and other middle-class suburbs, you have to get to North Hanley station.

And there are NO BATHROOMS.

Even a few porta-potties would be an improvement!  But there needs to be serious consideration to this MOST BASIC HUMAN NEED! There should be bathrooms, at the very least, at EVERY SINGLE METROLINK AND BUS TRANSFER CENTER!

Really, Metro, what is it going to take for you to wake up to the reality of life on your buses?

EDIT: Hey Metro, like Los Angeles, you could charge 25 cents to use the Metro bathrooms.

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