ST. LOUIS — Citizens for Modern Transit is expanding its Try & Ride program to give students commuting to and from college campuses the opportunity to “test drive” MetroLink and MetroBus.
Since SMT launched the service in the summer of 2014, the initiative has helped more than 3,800 workday commuters learn how to navigate the St. Louis’ area’s transit system.
In addition to helping college students learn how to use the region’s transit system, the Try & Ride program is designed to help students gain greater access to resources and amenities in the area, while also helping to improve mobility and independence for individuals who don’t drive or don’t have regular access to a vehicle for personal use.
“What many people may not realize is that 90 percent of the colleges and trade schools in the St. Louis area are accessible by transit, and 25 percent of Metro riders are using transit to commute to school,” said Kim Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “We are confident that once students try transit, they will quickly realize all the benefits it has to offer and make it part of their regular academic commute.”
The Try & Ride program is open to anyone in Missouri or Illinois who is new to the St. Louis region’s public transportation system and willing to commit to using transit for two consecutive months. Those interested in registering may do so via the CMT website at www.cmt-stl.org, or by calling (314) 231-7272.
Upon registering, program participants will be mailed a packet containing a personalized transit route for their work or school commute, one month’s worth of complimentary fare tickets, a journal that can be used for documenting their transit journey and a list of tips and tricks for using transit. Registration in the Try & Ride program also enrolls participants in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides transit users with a cab ride home or rental car in case of emergency or an unexpected schedule change.
Try & Ride student participants are required to travel to campus via MetroLink or MetroBus three to four days per week over a two-month period, and take two, short surveys along the way, designed to provide CMT with user insight and help the organization track the progression of the program.
There is no fee to participate in the Try & Ride program. The only out-of-pocket expense is the cost of the second month of the participant’s fare. However, CMT reminds students that many local colleges and universities offer customized passes from Metro, known as U-Passes, which cover all or part of the cost of MetroLink or MetroBus passes for students.
Citizens for Modern Transit is a not-for-profit organization in St. Louis whose mission is to expand the light rail system in order to build more sustainable, accessible communities in the region.