Transit Ridership Climbing in St. Clair County

Expanded service, new microtransit and event service helping to boost numbers

The latest transit ridership reports underscore residents of St. Clair County are jumping back on board transit.  MetroBus ridership is up 18.4 percent over the prior year,  MetroLink ridership has increased almost six percent and special event service is up more than 1,198 percent.

While there are still operator shortages impacting service in the region, the St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) has been able to increase service in several areas, offer special shuttle service to events like the SAFB Air Show and NASCAR races, and continue to expand microtransit. In addition, ATS is now serving four microtransit areas with the SCCTD Flyer service, while also providing service to the elderly and disabled in Southwestern Illinois. ATS ridership has increased by 14% from 82,247 in 2022 to 93,897 in 2023.  In addition, the SCCTD Flyer has increased by 96% from 2022.

“Meeting the needs of the residents of St. Clair County with quality transit service is our number one priority. The increase in ridership on the system underscores we are doing just that and more. Our goal is to continue to create accessibility opportunities so people can get to jobs, education and healthcare, not to mention fun events taking place in Illinois,” said Herb Simmons, Chair of the SCCTD Board of Trustees.

Ken Sharkey, Managing Director of the SCCTD added, “The St. Clair County Transit District’s 2020 Transit Vision continues to shape reality. We are delivering on our promise to provide interconnectivity throughout St. Clair County so area resident can get where they need to go by way of a safe, accessible, multi-model public transit system that is well-maintained and meets the needs of its riders.”

“This plan recognizes and adapts to the ever-changing mobility needs of passengers. We’ve extended the reach of our flexible, on-demand, shared-ride SCCTD Flyer service to include Scott Air Force Base. New and expanded frequency of MetroBus service in Cahokia Heights and Sauget is now providing increased access to jobs, school, healthcare, retail destinations and more. Work on Phase III of the Old Collinsville Road Trail is underway to develop a 0.8-mile bike and pedestrian trail that will run along Old Collinsville Road from Munie Road to Frank Scott Parkway East. This segment extends the reach of the MetroBikeLink System, which features 14 continuous miles of trails in Southwestern Illinois and links users to six Metro Transit Centers. “

Two “Transit Stop Transformation” projects have been completed in the area with a third to open on July 25 at the 5th & Missouri Transit Center in East St. Louis. Plus, SCCTD is currently replacing the fleet of Alternative Transportation System (ATS) vehicles with zero-emissions models and installing charging stations.