Metro-East News

Don’t want to drive to MidAmerica Airport? Check out this new way to get there

Allegiant Air helps MidAmerica one flight at a time

This video from February of 2018 shows Allegiant operations at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah.
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This video from February of 2018 shows Allegiant operations at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah.

For those passengers who don’t want to pay $5 a day to park their vehicle at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, there will be a public transportation option to get to and from the county-owned facility.

The St. Clair County Transit District plans to start running bus service between MidAmerica Airport and the Shiloh-Scott Air Force Base MetroLink station; there is free parking at several MetroLink stations for people who use MetroBus or the MetroLink.

One-way fares for the 11-minute trip will cost $3 per person. Only cash will be accepted.

The transit district is starting the service to connect people using MetroLink or MetroBus to MidAmerica in response to passenger growth at the airport, which now has more than 300,000 passengers each year, according to a news release.

Seven days a week, a bus will depart from the station every 40 minutes, starting three hours prior to the first scheduled flight of the day. The final bus will depart from the Airport approximately 35 minutes after the last flight of the day.

The transit district said 14 passengers would be able to fit on each bus. According to the news release, the transit district said it plans to monitor demand and may increase service in the future if warranted.

Ken Sharkey, the director the St. Clair County Transit District, said no new buses will be needed to start up the service, and no additional drivers.

He said passenger service has grown at the airport.

“Hopefully the (bus) ridership will build over time,” Sharkey said.

He said the transit district hopes to attract more passengers from Missouri the airport.

“People will pick the cheapest way and most efficient way to travel,” Sharkey said.

There are 18 flights a week out of MidAmerica, but that number is scheduled to increase to 34 flights a week in June and July for the peak travel season, said Airport Director Tim Cantwell.

Cantwell added having the bus service links the modes of transportation.

St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern said Allegiant Air’s flight schedule at the airport has grown by 20 percent for 2019.

“We believe more avenues for access to the airport should be offered, including public transit. Travel to the Shiloh-Scott Metrolink stop and a convenient ride from there to the airport is a great alternative,” Kern said. “This additional travel option further enhances the hassle-free experience MidAmerica is known for.”

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.