Something we have learned to love and appreciate so much while living in the St. Louis area is the Metro Transit System. St. Louis is pretty easy to get around with 4 major interstates going through the area (44, 64, 55, and 70) and the various bypasses of those interstates (170 and 270), along with countless major highways and expressways also located in the area. That being said, lots of those roads run in a circular formation rather than strict north, south, east, west, so that can lead to some confusion when navigating. The metro is also a great option for when you don’t wan to deal with/pay for parking downtown.
Our first two years living in St. Louis, we lived on seminary campus in Clayton and we had about a mile walk north to the (blue) station located on Big Bend and Forest Parkway. Now that we live in North County, we can easily drive to the station closest to us at Hanley and I-70, park our car there for the day for free, get Metro tickets and take the red line into down.
As briefly mentioned above, the Metro train has two lines, the red and blue. These overlap for most of the time but split after their stop in Forest Park. The red line heads north toward that airport (which is where it begins/ends) while the blue line heads South to the Shrewsbury end of the line. Both also have end/begin points somewhere on the Illinois side. It’s important to remember which line you need to take back to your car if you aren’t parked along one of the stops that both lines run to.
We love to take the Metro in whenever we go to a Cardinals baseball game as parking prices tend to skyrocket for events such as those. Sure the parking prices are usually flat rate, but both Andrew and I can get round trip tickets for 5 bucks each on the Metro, so that is still significantly cheaper than most parking garage prices, and it means we don’t have to deal with the crazy traffic of people driving to and from a game.
The day I took these pictures of our Metro experience were when we took the Metro in to check out the Arch grounds and dine at the Arch View Cafe. I didn’t actually think to take pictures on our way in, so these are all from our return trip back. I also didn’t take any while on the actual train, as I felt that might look a little strange and it’s really no different looking than most other big city transit trains.
I included pictures of the schedule the trains follow so you can see how frequently stops are made at a particular station. As stated above, we always do one way tickets both directions which run at $2.50 each way, but they also have other daily, weekly, and even monthly options if you will be in the area for longer and no you want to use public transportation more frequently. These passes will also work to connect in with the bus system should you want to use that, but we personally never have.
While the “Arch” stop is labeled as 8th and Pine on the map, (this is the one you’d want for getting tickets currently at the Old Courthouse), after dining at the Arch View Cafe, our closest station for returning was actually the Laclede’s Landing station. This one is well worth it to check out as it runs along the famous Eads Bridge. I couldn’t help but take some pictures while we waited for the train to arrive.
If you are looking to save money on parking and save yourself the stress of driving around town, I strongly encourage you to use the Metro! However, if you are feeling more of a time crunch, it’s probably best to just drive as the Metro can take longer with each of it’s stops, but it all depends on what time you’d be hitting traffic with your car! We have loved the Metro every time we’ve taken it, but it’s not our go-to method for driving around St. Louis by any means!
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