Metro-East News

Citizens for Modern Transit continuing Try and Ride program

Citizens for Modern Transit is continuing its Try and Ride program for a second year, the organization said.

The grant-funded program aims to help area residents overcome some of the perceived hurdles associated with using MetroLink and MetroBus for their workday commutes by allowing them to “test drive” the transit system, the organization said. So far, more than 2,250 participants have familiarized themselves with the Metro system through the program, and 68 percent of those individuals have continued to use transit for their work commute.

The program is open to any resident who is new to the St. Louis region’s public transportation system.

After registering, each participant receives a packet in the mail with a personalized transit route for their work commute, a month of complimentary tickets, a journal to capture stories and write down reminders, and a list of tips and tricks for using transit, CMT said. Registration also enrolls participants in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides the user with a cab ride home or rental car in the case of an emergency or unexpected schedule change at work.

In the program, participants are required to travel to work via MetroLink or MetroBus three to four days per week during a two-month period and take two surveys to allow Citizens for Modern Transit to gain user insight.

The only out-of-pocket expense during the program is the cost of the second month of the participant’s fare, Citizens for Modern Transit said.

“We have known for some time now that many shy away from public transportation due to the fear of the unknown — they don’t know where to go and what to do,” said Kim Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “Our findings demonstrate how helping residents get over the fear of the unknown enables them to experience firsthand all of the benefits of taking transit. Once they realize the benefits, they stick with it.”