ST. LOUIS (AP) - About 50 passengers of a light rail train in suburban St. Louis are uninjured after an overhead power line fell on top of the train.
It happened Wednesday morning near a MetroLink station on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. The passengers were stuck on the train for about an hour before being safely evacuated.
MetroLink service was shut down between Wellston and the North Hanley station until power was restored. Passengers in that area were taking a bus.
Fans interested in avoiding the traffic jams before and after the National League Championship Series Game 6 tonight (and Game 7 if necessary tomorrow) are encouraged to take public transit.
Metro will have additional staffing to monitor MetroLink platforms and assist crowds and will provide extra service before and after the game.
Free Park-Ride lots are located next to many of the MetroLink stations in Illinois and Missouri making it convenient to take MetroLink to the Stadium Station or to another nearby station in downtown.
Fans who want to know which MetroLink Park-Ride lot is the closest to their home or work can check out www.metrostlouis.org to use the Trip Planner feature.
Area transportation officials are trying to make it as easy as possible for fans to travel into downtown St. Louis for the Cardinals and Blues games today. The Redbirds open postseason play at Busch Stadium with a 4:07 first pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Blues open their regular season against the Nashville Predators with a 7:30 faceoff at Scottrade Center.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reminds drivers heading eastbound on Interstate 70 they now have the option of taking the new Tucker Boulevard exit ramp and following the new section of Tucker into downtown. The Pine Street entrance to westbound Interstate 64/40 opened on Wednesday. MODOT also says it will not have any work zones in the city of St. Louis prior to the games.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will postpone westbound lane restrictions on Interstate 64 and Interstate 55/70 in the Metro East until 8 p.m.
And Metro transit spokeswoman Patti Beck says the agency will have extra staff on duty today and will be prepared to add MetroLink trains should there be signs of crowding.
Riders on the MetroLink could experience short delays this week.
Work is scheduled to start today and is expected to run through Sunday. MetroLink will operate on a single track at the Rock Road and Wellston stations today, Friday, and over the weekend. Red Line passengers could be delayed up to 10 minutes. Tuesday through Thursday, a single track will operate at the UMSL South, UMSL North, and North Hanley stations.
Blue Line passengers could then experience short delays.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The agency that operates mass transit services in the St. Louis area will resume contract talks with a labor union on Sept. 9.
The plan to renew talks with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788 was announced Thursday by Bi-State Development Agency president and CEO John Nations. The union represents operators of St. Louis Metro bus and the light rail MetroLink, along with mechanics and some clerical staff.
Tens of thousands of commuters use Metro buses and MetroLink trains every day in the St. Louis region.
Nations says the union has assured him there will be no work stoppages before the two sides return to the negotiating table.
Metro Transit officials and union leaders will resume contract negotiations early next month.
Bi-State Development Agency President & CEO John Nations officials with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788 have assured him there will be no work stoppages before both sides sit down and talk the week of September 9th. The union represents MetroBus and MetroLink operators as well mechanics and some clerical staff.
Nations says a work stoppage would be unfair to the nearly one million passengers a week who ride MetroLink and Metro buses.
It appears union workers and Metro Transit still have a long way to go before agreeing on new contracts. Union members from the St. Louis area cast a symbolic vote Tuesday.
Labor leaders says workers voted in favor of a mediator's recommendations related to pensions and pay but rejected recommendations related to health insurance.
John Nations, Metro president and CEO says the transit agency doesn't have the money to meet workers demands. He's urging the two sides to sit down and negotiate.
Union officials say they don't expect a strike this month, but say if transit officials don't negotiate in good faith, a work stoppage could come next month.
Two suspects are on the loose after shooting a man at the Metrolink station in Pagedale.
Police say the shooting happened just after noon near St. Charles Rock Road. The suspects are both black men, one of the men is armed. No word on the victim's condition.
The ballots have been counted and after two days of voting, St. Louis public transportation workers are unanimous in their support for a job action.
Ninety percent of the voting membership of Transit Local 788 gave a thumbs up for a strike authorization. Local president Mike Breihan says the International office still needs to sanction the job action.
"The largest majority supported the strike," Breihan said. "So what we do now is send the information up to the International. They make a decision on to sanction the strike or not. And then if that happens we will follow procedures and see what happens."
Breihan says the Union will wait to set a strike date until after a mediator issues his report in late June.
Transit workers in St. Louis appear poised to walk off the job as members of Local 788 of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union continue a strike authorization vote Tuesday. The union represents public transportation workers and any job action could effect Metrobus and Metrolink service.
Nearly 600 of the 1,500 members cast ballots on Monday. Bus drivers, mechanics, Metrolink operators and clerical staff have all been working without a contract for two and a half years.
Local 788 President Mike Breihan says he hopes it doesn't come down to a work stoppage. "You know we really don't want to hurt the public," Breihan said. "The people out here that ride the bus, they're like our family. And you know we don't want to hurt any of them, but we're going to have to do whatever we can do to protect our own."
"This vote was just strictly to show that we are united and we're ready to move forward if we have to, to do whatever we need to do to get a contract," Breihan said. "You know we're not trying to rob the bank. All we're trying to do is make a decent living for our members and our families."
Breihan says no action will be taken until after a mediator, who is reviewing information submitted by both the Union and Metro, issues an opinion at the end of the month.