Come late August, downtown will be a bit busier when the Saint Louis University academic year begins and its Law School opens the doors on its new downtown location. Announced with surprise and excitement only 2 weeks ago, the building generously donated by Joe and Loretta Scott at 100 N Tucker Blvd will soon be host to more than 1,000 full-time and part-time students and more than 70 full-time faculty.
For students and faculty with cars, the building contains a 3-story parking garage. For everyone else, the 8th & Pine MetroLink station is little more than a quarter-mile walk away. SLU also has tentative plans on running Billiken shuttles every half hour between its main campus and the downtown Law School building.
But instead of paying for the cost of a shuttle, SLU should invest in Metro to help increase the frequency of the 10 Lindell bus line. The 10 Lindell currently runs every half hour and runs from the Central West End transit center down Lindell and Olive to the Civic Center station downtown before proceeding into south city via Gravois. On its way between the two MetroLink stops, it travels directly past the length of the main SLU campus and within two long blocks of the new Law School building.
With help from SLU, Metro could conceivably increase the frequency of the 10 Lindell from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes (the 10 Gravois portion of the route would continue to run 30 minutes). Rerouting the bus two blocks east from 14th St to Tucker Blvd would also help encourage use of Metro buses by putting the bus line at the Law School’s front door.1 Buses that run 4 times every hour would be a boon for not just SLU students, faculty, and staff wishing to travel to the Central West End in addition to the Midtown and downtown campuses, but for everyone else who uses or depends on the 10 Lindell for getting around St. Louis.
Update: As pointed out by a reader, I can’t find any reference to where SLU said they would run a shuttle every half-hour. Nevertheless, even if SLU only ran a shuttle once per hour, the point remains the same.
- The 10 Lindell currently takes 29 minutes to travel between the Central West End and Civic Center transit centers. The line’s 30 minute headways mean that any small route deviation that increases the route’s length may necessitate the addition of another bus and driver, thus increasing operating costs.