some may find this odd, but i've never ridden on the metro link. i've ridden on light rail systems in atlanta and chicago and san fran, but never our own. why? it hasn't gone anywhere i need to go. but recently, the new extension has opened a hop, skip and a jump from my house. and i had a reason.
the beautiful mrs k had to do a little schmoozing at work on saturday. a little customer appreciation thing in tandem with the art fair going on in clayton. having all the streets closed down there meant it was best for me to drop her off at the metro and let her ride in. (she has been riding the metro to work everyday now and has saved a TON on gas and cut down on a lot of driving frustration!) since i was going to join her there later to check out the fair, we decided i should ride it, too.
besides a little frustration with the buying the ticket/validating the ticket thing, it was awesome! my starting point is the ending point for the metro in shrewsbury, and the facility there is super-clean and it has 800 parking spaces. there were tons of people with the same ideas as us...ride the metro to clayton, avoid the parking issues. once underway, the little train goes over hwy 44 (you get to see the progress on the redecking of the river desperes bridge on 44 from waaaaay up high) and skirts the outskirts of maplewood. across big bend and behind the old petsmart/dmv building (the metro runs straight through what was the maplewood bmx track, built in 1981 and in action until 1984. before it was a bmx track, it was called the "venture trails" by those in the know) and then to the sunnen stop, the maplewood-manchester stop, the brentwood stop, the galleria-clayton stop, then finally the forsyth stop. i tell you, having lived in this area all my life, it was quite cool to see my little world from such a view!
the mrs and i walked about the fair for a bit, and ran into the squiers (jim and danna) and the crazy johnsons (heather and ethan). we had a lot of laughs, not many at ethan's expense, and finally headed out. we walked back down to the metro stop and ran into a glitch...the ticket windows were closed (8:30 pm?) and others complained that the validators were not working. hmmm. we pondered this, and then decided that we needed to ride it to get home. we were just going to hope that, if questioned, the train police would have sympathy on us. no such questions arose, and we got on and off without a hitch.
all in all, things like the metro make st. louis a much more livable city. we need this. we need more of it. send that sucker out west, along I-64 and I-44. take a load off of those over-used highways and get rid of some road rage. polute less. makes some friends on the train. whatever. it's an idea that big cities around the world already know is a great answer to transportation woes.
and now, it goes places i need to go.