The public transportation in St. Louis area is less than perfect. But it is improving.
Now that youngest son and I have settled into our new apartment, we are beginning to explore the area. There is a Metro Link station 2 blocks from out apartment. Here we have access to the Blue Line, the Red Line and 3 different bus routes.
Youngest son is planning to attend a university in north St. Louis county this fall. Two of the Metro stations on the Red Line are on that campus. This makes his commute to school a 20 minute train ride. He has also been taking the Amtrak train up to visit his father in Illinois and the Metro train leaves our local station and goes directly to the Amtrak (and Greyhound and local bus) stations.
Last week, we rode together on both lines to figure out the logistics and because adventures are more fun when undertaken together.
Three of my four children have deliberately chosen to be car free. I aspire to be car free myself someday. (Though practically, it makes sense for me to hang onto my paid-for car while I am sort of the “back up ride” for several persons in the family.
This is a huge shift in thinking and practice for me. As a teenager in the 70’s a car equaled freedom. I was taught to drive a stick shift at the age of 14 and got my driver’s license as soon as I legally could. For decades, it was a written requirement of my job that I own and maintain a vehicle that I used for work. I drove, on average 200-500 miles every two weeks, just for work. And who knows how many more miles I drove squiring children to music lessons and track meets and Scholastic Bowl practice.
But here, in my retirement village, I can walk to shops providing all my basic needs and the library and the folk music venue and the farmer’s market. I far prefer this way of getting around.
As we find ways of healing the earth from decades of carbon pollution and other excessive behaviors we will find new and better ways to be in community and get around. What a joy to find that the better way is also more fun!