Check out this graphic from Nate Berg's article "Transit Use is Growing, But Not Where You Think":
According to the article and graphic, the St. Louis region was the 7th fastest growing region for transit use from 2006 to 2008, showing a 16 percent increase in transit ridership between the two years.
Most comments about the reason for the jump in some seemingly unlikely cities (Charlotte, Detroit, Riverside, etc.) center around rising gas prices and a sinking national economy.
Transit use will continue to increase in St. Louis if the costs of driving increase. Another thing that will help decrease the rate of driving vs. transit is the growth of "road diet" streetscape improvement projects in the region and especially in the city. With Manchester and South Grand as the highest profile re-dos, these streets could demonstrate the importance of privileging pedestrians' safety and convenience over that of drivers. The usual saying "you can get anywhere in 15 minutes" should apply to hopping on a train or a bus and not so much to driving. Let's capitalize on the growth of transit ridership by continuing to cut subsidies to private automobile users.
Who says St. Louis never gets positive accolades?
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