A look at Metrobus frequencies

Having a frequent bus network is one of the best ways we can build and sustain transit usership. When a bus is frequent, missing a bus doesn’t mean a half-hour wait (or more) as punishment - it means knowing another bus is only a few minutes away. When transit is reliable, people are willing to use it more, and shift away from using a car.

Transit consultant Jarrett Walker’s Human Transit mentions that

in most cases, the threshold of “high frequency” is around every 15 minutes all day. Lower frequencies are usually associated with much lower performance.

Before 2018, only one bus line in St Louis, the #70 Grand, ran every 15 minutes or better. As a part of a network redesign entitled “Metro Reimagined”, the #70 moved up to running every 10 minutes most of the day, and 10 other bus lines were moved up to a 15 minute weekday frequency. The tagline for this promising system change on Metro’s site was:

Metro Reimagined tagline: “Shorter waits. Faster trips. Better connections.

Unfortunately, COVID’s impact on transit has meant that most of these improvements were short-lived, and with the service cuts beginning today, we’re back to only one line with a 15 minute frequency. A few lines still have 20 minute frequencies for a portion of weekday service, but the scattered mess of a schedule below is a far cry from the predictable and easy bus schedules we were promised in Metro Reimagined. People need reliable and frequent service not only during commute hours, but also on weekends and evenings. Building transit ridership requires making the bus easy to use all of the time.

Bi-State claims these cuts are only temporary. Please send public comment before their December 10 meeting, urging them to hire more drivers and reverse the service cuts.

And join Bus Riders United STL so we can push for better, faster, and more frequent buses!

Browse current & past Metrobus frequencies below: