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Monday, December 26, 2005

Bus Schedule Changes, Today and Monday, January 2

Several of my coworkers and I were late to work today. Why? Because Christmas was on a Sunday, Metro changed today to a Sunday schedule so that its workers could "observe" Christmas. While I'm glad they get the break, it would have been nice if the change had been well advertised or posted. I didn't hear about the change on any bus that I rode, and when I consulted my bus schedules this morning, they simply said, "NOTE: Sunday schedules operate on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas." December 26 was nowhere to be seen on that list. Thus, we were late. Cmon, Metro, work with us here--we need to get to work!

Also of note: A coworker informed me that on next Monday, January 2, busses will again run on Sunday schedules. Share the news with all the public transit riders in your life!

(Thanks for the tip, Adria!)


Anonymous said...

Here's a simple rule of thumb to remember...

If it's a fairly common holiday, like Christmas or New Year's, then busses operate on a Sunday schedule.

But if it's a less common holiday, like Veteran's Day, then busses operate on a Saturday schedule.

Clearly, many folks don't get these holidays, but since Metro doesn't get much operational funding from Missouri, its Missouri operations now observes more holidays.

Anonymous said...

The rule of thumb is good, but Metro should not rely on people already knowing it. It's their job to explain everything: schedule changes, re-routed lines, etc. While not knowing that the holidays entail reduced service may be more incovenience than deprivation, not knowing that a line has been re-routed could cost someone a job. Metro routinely fails to advertise such chnages even on its website, something than I'd bet less than half its ridership has even seen.

Another glaring problem is that Metro won't post schedules on bust shelters, and when I have wheatpasted the schedules on different shelters, Metro has removed the schedules. Service last!

Joe said...

I don't usually come riding to Metro's defense... but I did see some "Metro Holiday Schedule" placards posted.

And a PDF version of this holiday schedule has been on their website for a month or so.

Quick run-down of upcoming "holiday" schedules then:

1/1/06: Sunday schedule
1/2/06: Sunday schedule
1/16/06 (MLK): Saturday schedule
2/20/06 (Pres Day): Saturday schedule

MLK Day is especially ironic: that day used to have regular weekday service schedules, since of course most low-income working African-American reverse commuters still have to work that day. Downtown government office workers (many of whom are white) however, get the day off.

Saturday schedules mean a number of routes, including the #15 Hodiamont and many of the express routes, will not operate at all. Very frustrating.

I, too, wish schedules were posted on bus shelters. But, then, I also wish there were more bus shelters to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Again, don't complain to Metro, but your state delegation. Illinois busses will operate like any weekday for MLK, President's Day and the like. But Missouri buses and MetroLink (since bi-state operations) will operate on a Saturday schedule, due to Missouri's lack of funding.

Claire Nowak-Boyd said...

The rule of thumb is somewhat useful, and so is Metro's website, but I didn't see anything posted on the bus routes I rode around the holidays (#30 Soulard, #74 Florissant, and St. Clair County #1 Main Street-State Street). I finally did see a note when I rode Metrolink, but that was after the fact.

I guess my complaint is that the schedule change for December 26 wasn't listed with the other Sunday schedule dates on the bus schedule. I figured if some dates were listed on the recently-printed schedule, wouldn't they naturally all be listed? If they are going to change schedules on non-holidays based simply on holidays falling on the weekend, they should look in advance when they print schedules to figure out what additional non-holiday days should be added to the list.

Metro's taking steps to disseminate the information, but they need to be more thorough with bus placards, and they need to list ALL changed dates on printed schedules. A lot of people only have printed schedules and bus placards to go by.

About posting schedules at bus stops: Surprisingly, Los Angeles actually has a nice solution for this. They have three-sided posts, about 6" on a side, to mark each bus stop. Each post has the relevant bus schedules under plastic, for viewing. The distinctive posts also do a good job of making bus stops stand out a little more than regular signs do. I don't know if they have these three-sided posts everywhere in their transit system, but I saw 'em all over the place when I was in LA several years ago , and I found them very helpful in my travels around the city alone.