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MetroLink tweaks Blue Line service as transit agency struggles to recover from flood damage

Metro Transit will adjust Blue Line MetroLink service beginning on Monday, Sept. 5, in an effort to provide more reliable, on-schedule service after the flash flooding of late July.

Although train service to all 38 MetroLink stations has resumed, Blue Line trains will operate only between the Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 and Forest Park-DeBaliviere stations.

Since July 26, the transit agency has trying to work around the complex challenges produced by $40 million in flash flood damage, which occurred on July 26. Key signal and communications systems near the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station sustained major damage during the historic rainstorm.

“We are in emergency flood recovery mode and are looking at all viable solutions to improve MetroLink service for our customers,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President and CEO. Bi-State operates the 46-mile MetroLink system for the St. Louis region.

Roach acknowledged that the adjustments made on Aug. 22 weren’t helping and had actually created even more delays.

“So now we move on to the next option, and that is what we are doing starting on Monday,” he said. “We appreciate the patience demonstrated by our customers. … Realistically, we are looking at six months or more to completely replace the signal and communications components before we are back to pre-flood service levels on MetroLink.”

Charles Stewart, Executive Director of Metro Transit, promised more reliable service than in the past month. “There will still be some delays, but service will be more dependable. We encourage customers to use the Transit app, Google Transit and online schedules starting Monday to see when their train is coming.”

Starting Sept. 5:

  • Blue Line trains will operate between the Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 and Forest Park-DeBaliviere Stations. No Blue Line trains will operate east of the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station. Blue Line trains will operate on a 20-minute frequency, seven days a week.
  • Blue Line customers will need to transfer to a Red Line train at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station to continue their eastbound trips.
  • Customers heading west to Blue Line stations toward Clayton and Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 will need to transfer to a Blue Line train at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station.
  • All transfers between the Red Line and Blue Line will be made at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station. Blue Line customers should allow extra time for the transfers.
  • Red Line trains will operate between St. Louis-Lambert International Airport and the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink Station, and will operate on weekday schedules Monday through Friday and weekend schedules on Saturday and Sunday.

Customers at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station will continue to board all eastbound and westbound Red Line trains on the westbound side of the platform, and all westbound Blue Line trains on the eastbound side of the platform. At the Skinker and University City-Big Bend Stations, all eastbound and westbound trains will board on the eastbound platform.

Both elevators at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station are out of service indefinitely due to the flood damage. MetroLink customers who need elevator service and start or end their trips at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station can continue to request special transportation by using the Passenger Assist Telephone (located at all MetroLink stations and Transit Centers) by calling 314-982-1400, extension 4870, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; or 314-289-6872 after hours.

The latest details on MetroLink service, including updated schedules, are available on the Special MetroLink Operations page of MetroStLouis.org. Customers can also contact Metro Transit Information for questions or help with their trip by calling 314-231-2345 or texting 314-207-9768, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Staff

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