Wikimedia Commons photo
A Madison County Transit bus turns onto Wood River Avenue from Ferguson. More than 10,000 riders per day use the transit system.
GRANITE CITY — Madison County Transit has announced service changes that will take effect Jan. 10.
New services will include schedule adjustments, new payment options and improved routes.
“We make changes every January, May and August,” MCT Director of Marketing and Planning S.J. Morrison said. “Because we are not a large company, we are able to make more effective changes a lot faster. We are able to listen to the public, listen to our drivers and make the adjustments that best suit our riders. It’s because we are small; we can be more flexible. Our drivers put in their route bids every three months; we feel this is the best opportunity to make changes in any routes or schedules, too.”
One new option for passengers is the ability to pay through a fare collection system being installed in each MCT vehicle. As of January, riders will be able to purchase two-hour passes and express day passes on board the bus.
“We feel giving the riders an opportunity to purchase the passes from the drivers will be a greater value for them,” Morrison said. “We believe it will also reduce the boarding times. Debit and credit card payments will be coming, but it won’t be ready by January. Riders can still purchase passes on our website with a debit or credit card.”
MCT has 194 full-time and 74 part-time employees. More than 2.6 million riders will utilize the MCT fixed-route vehicles. MCT has a fleet of nearly 90 buses, which are equipped with lifts and are wheelchair-accessible.
To eliminate the uncertainty of bridge traffic and reduce travel times, the MCT Express routes (No. 14X, No. 16X) will operate the same route into and out of downtown St. Louis (both morning and afternoon) using the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. The order in which all afternoon Express (No. 1X, No. 5, No. 14X, No. 16X) pick-ups are made also will be reversed.
Morning and afternoon Express service to Downtown St. Louis on the No. 18 Collinsville Regional will be deviated to the Emerson Park MetroLink station.
The No. 2 Granite City Shuttle will serve America’s Central Port on all trips — providing service to New Opportunities, the Granite City YMCA, multiple employers and more than 400 residents.
The weekday No. 7 Alton-Edwardsville trip leaving Alton Square Mall at 4:55 p.m. will be removed, creating a one-hour gap in service from 4:19 p.m. to 5:19 p.m. between Alton Square and Edwardsville Station. As a result, the No. 12 Bethalto Shuttle trip leaving Wood River Station at 5:25 p.m. will be shifted to 5:18 p.m. to facilitate transfers to the No. 7.
In response to demand, the No. 14 Highland Shuttle will be re-routed away from Korte Recreation Center to serve Highland Home, a residential complex on Walnut, and will operate on Faith Drive, providing direct service to the Independent Living at Faith Countryside Nursing Home.
The No. 6 Roxana-South Roxana Shuttle will transition to a cross county route because of the fare boundary shift from Interstate 270 in Pontoon Beach to New Poag Road. The new route will be called the No. 6 Roxana-Pontoon Beach.
Other routes affected by the new fare boundaries include: No. 1 Tri-City Regional, No. 4 Madison-Edwardsville and the No. 5 Tri-City Regional.
MCT will implement the following new fare products at the January Service Change in lieu of transfers.
MCT 2-Hour Zone Pass ($2): Valid for unlimited multi-directional trips within a single fare zone on MCT fixed routes. Valid for two hours from purchase on date of issue. Not valid on MCT Express trips or on Metro.
MCT 2-Hour Regional Pass ($3): Valid for unlimited multi-directional trips on all MCT fixed-route buses, all MetroBus routes and all MetroLink trains. Valid for two hours from purchase on date of issue.
To increase mobility for senior citizens and provide an option for occasional MCT Express passengers to St. Louis, MCT is also implementing the following new fare products on Jan. 10:
MCT Express Round Trip Pass ($5): Valid only on MCT Express routes (including Rams and Muny Express) for round-trip service within one calendar day (date of issue) for multi-directional travel. Not valid on Metro.
MCT Senior Select Free Ride ID (free): Valid for unlimited free trips on all MCT fixed-routes for Madison County residents age 75 and older. Must receive MCT-issued photo ID.
For schedule details, new timetables dated “January 10, 2016” have been posted at www.mct.org and will be available at MCT stations, on MCT buses and at locations throughout Madison County. For details about MCT services, call (618) 797-INFO (4636), visit www.mct.org or email email@example.com. MCT says it welcomes feedback in order to better serve the public.