The recent request for proposals sent out by the St. Louis Development Corporation mentioned the possibility of a people mover(!) running east-west from Boyle to Euclid. Since a single sentence is the extent of knowledge about why BJC is considering a people mover, I’m going to speculate wildly about why a people mover might be wanted or needed.

Why does BJC need a people mover?
To move people, duh!

Where are people going?
Between the hospital and other destinations (CORTEX, new parking garage) near Boyle.

Is there demand for a people mover?
Not sure, exactly. Other systems in Indianapolis and Huntsville connect hospital buildings at both ends to generate high demand. The terminus at Boyle is relatively low density employment density and a parking garage. Ask BJC and Washington University.

Both points are locations of MetroLink stations. Why not just use MetroLink as a people mover?
BJC must want to connect places in between Boyle and Euclid, as well. Or, perhaps, they just want their own private system for reasons still unknown.

One reason could be the ability to have climate controlled transportation over long distances. For example, a patient could be moved from the main campus to another building say near Newstead without stepping outside. Another reason would be to reduce the need for the existing shuttle system that transports people around the sprawling medical complex.

Combining the above two reasons, BJC and Washington University could encourage some employees to park at the new Boyle garage. This would help relieve some of the traffic strain on the Kingshighway interchange. Enabling employees to park farther away from the hospital core could, also, free up land currently occupied by parking garages for additional buildings. People could park at the new Boyle garage without having to brave winter weather, pouring rain, or blistering heat to get to their final destinations.

Do you have any more wild speculation?
Since CORTEX is a joint venture between WU, BJC, and SLU, maybe they’ll expand the people mover system to Cardinal Glennon Hospital?

Do you have any idea what you’re talking about?
No, I do not!

Posted by Herbie Markwort

I like to write about transportation.