Have you ever taken the bus or train to get around town? I barely ever use a car so I consider myself somewhat of an expert on our incredible public transportation system here in St. Louis and Shaw is a prime spot to try it!
First of all, let’s talk about options. We have many bus routes nearby, depending on where you’re going. The nearest Metrolink train station is on Grand over the train yards, north of Chouteau and south of 64/40. The second closest is the Central West End station located between Taylor and Euclid in the BJC complex just south of Forest Park Parkway. You can walk or bike to either station, or take any number of buses there.
The #70 Grand bus goes up and down Grand all day long, taking you north to the Metrolink or south to restaurants and other destinations (just walk east to Grand to your nearest stop).
The #80 bus goes through Shaw, traveling on 39th, Shenandoah, Thurman, Magnolia and Tower Grove avenues, connecting to the Central West End station westbound and going through Lafayette Square to the Civic Center on 14th street downtown if you’re headed east.
The #8 bus goes through Shaw on Tower Grove Ave and along Shaw, heading southbound through Carondelet Park to Broadway near River City Casino and heading east down Russell into downtown at the Civic Center station on 14th.
The #14 bus goes nearby Shaw, coming past the Missouri Botanical Garden down Shaw and turning left onto Tower Grove Avenue, with a stop at The Word At Shaw at that corner (and vice versa).
There are further bus options if you’d like to walk a little, such as the #30 that runs along Arsenal from the Civic Center to Shrewsbury and the #95 that runs up and down Kingshighway.
Okay so how do you do it, you ask? First, plan your route. You can use Metro’s website or even just Google Maps. If you’re plotting your route on Google, get directions just like normal but choose the bus icon and you can get options based on arriving or departing at a certain time. Then go to the intersection where the bus should be and look for the blue metro signs to stand near. Most buses will stop but look alert and maybe wave just to make sure the bus sees you!
Now for payment. Most buses take exact change only, no credit cards. Metro train stations, however, take larger bills or credit cards and do dispense change. You can purchase one train ride (one direction) for $2.25 (increasing to $2.50 on July 1 FYI). One bus ride (also one direction) costs $2. A 2-hour pass is $3 and this means you can ride any bus or any train for any amount of time, it’s all you can ride for 2 hours, no limits whatsoever. You could ride 15 different buses if you want, just keep that pass! You can also purchase a day, week or month pass if you ride frequently. If you start your ride on the Metro, make sure you validate your pass by stamping it in one of the small red meters located on all platforms. You never have to swipe your pass, just have it with you on the train in case someone asks. On the bus, you pay first and if you need a 2-hour transfer, ask for one. This will be a small piece of paper that tells you when it expires, no validation needed. You will need to show it every time you get on a bus in order to board. If you’re on the metro train, just keep it with you in case you’re asked to show it.
Red validation meters for tickets purchased at a Metrolink station look like this:
On the Metro, you’ll hear each stop announced. On the bus, sometimes they announce the main stops but also keep an eye out for when you need to get off, and pull the cord to signify to the driver that you’d like to stop.
If you’re traveling with a bike, you can put it at the front or back of each train car, not in the aisles. And on the bus, you can secure your bike on the front of the bus by pulling the rack down to be a horizontal platform, placing your bike wheels in the slots available and then extending the arm over your front wheel and clamping it down (it’s a spring-loaded lever).
Last but not least, have fun! I love this method of travel because I can talk to and meet new people, read or write, or just zone out and have some time to think. It’s a magical time and much better than driving, if you ask me. It’s affordable and useful, just takes a little time and planning.
If you ever have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them, find me, Emma Klues, on Shaw NextDoor!