Travel guide for getting around on MetroLink St. Louis

Saint Louis Travel Blog

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Traintracks from Stadium Station looking on the Lambert (west) route.
Within moments of landing at Lambert Airport, I quickly realized that there is absolutely no need to rent a car if visiting the city for just a few days.  If you choose to take a cab to downtown they will soak you for between $27 and $37 one way for cab fare. 

The MetroLink is very clean, very quick and simple and most importantly, very safe.  Here are a few tips to make the travel into the city to your hotel easier:

1) The Metrolink platform is located in the Main Terminal and the East Terminal of the Lambert Airport.  In the main terminal you will enter baggage claim on the ground floor. You will need to take the escalator to the 2nd floor to catch the train.

2) When staying at any of the hotels, I recommend calling the hotel prior to your flight and find out how many blocks it is from the train and which stop to exit.
  Many hotels are within 3 short, well-lot blocks from the train stop.

3) Buy your train ticket from the machines at the beginning of the train entryway.  From Lambert you will need to purchase a 2-hour pass for $3.75.  When buying tickets from the machine your ticket is automatically validated, so nothing else needs to be done except to board the train. 

 ***tip: when traveling on the train at night I recommend that you sit in the first car at the front of the train. This car fills up fastest and is close to the train driver, so it is the safest (though I found absolutely no threats in any part of the train, I just prefer to be as safe as possible when traveling.)

4) I exited at the Stadium stop, which is right across the street from the Cardinal's Busch Stadium.
Train unloading a mass of Cardinal fans at the Stadium stop during game day.
  The trip from the airport on Metrolink took about 20 minutes and was the 13th stop/train station.  The stops are posted in the wall in every car of the train for your convenience and the next stop is always announced by the driver.

5) If you are planning on NOT renting a car during your visit then you will need to buy a 1 day pass from the MetroLink machine located at each station.  This pass is $7.50 (and is green) and allows you to get off and on the train as much as you want all day AND all the buses are included, too - a great value.  You can get to anywhere in the city you want to go by using the combination of public transit.  A bus route map and a train time schedule are both available at either  a) The MetroBus location which is a few hundred feet from the Central West End metro station (you will have to cross the tracks to get there) or b) The Metro office building located on the edge of Laclede's Landing in downtown near the river.
One day pass.
  The building is located close to the Landing's train station, first floor.  The ladies manning the reception desk are very helpful in advising visitors how to get around.  Keep in mind, a 1 day pass is for a calendar day NOT a 24 hour period. So, if you arrive at 7pm it doesn't make sense to buy a 1 day pass, instead purchase a one-trip pass for $2.25 or a 2-hour pass for $2.75.

When using the 1 day pass to board a MetroBus you will need swipe the pass through the magnetic reader.  The driver will help you for the first time.  It's really simple once you know what to do.

***Watch for:
Once in a while when boarding the train you may be approached by a young man asking for train fare and/or money handouts.  They are not dangerous so don't be frightened.  Just tell them "sorry" and they will leave you alone.  This happened to me once in the morning at Stadium Station (when I was standing alone reading the sign) and again during rush hour at Central West End (standing with dozens of other people also waiting for the train).  Don't take it personally - they ask all women. I noticed that they don't bother men.

6)  If you either pass your train/bus stop or get off too early, don't panic, it's no big deal... just get on again with the next bus or train. If you pass your stop remember that you must get on the next vehicle going the opposite direction.  When in doubt on a bus just ask/confirm with the driver if it is the right bus to get where you want to go BEFORE you go sit down.

7)  Remember your direction on the Metro.  LAMBERT means you will go West.   Shiloh means you will go East towards the Illinois side of the city.

8)  The MetroLink has two lines - the Red and the Blue.  If you are just going from the airport to the downtown hotel district or are visiting  sites in the middle of the train route, which color line you get on does not matter as both of them stop at exactly the same stations and those routes overlap. The color only matters if you are taking the train to the extreme end of the line in Illinois or the extreme southwestern part of Missouri, neither of which applies to tourists.

**See details and instructions for riding at the Metro's website:

**A great page that shows the order of the train stops and what is around those stops can be found here:

!!!Important!!!  There is no MetroLink service between the hours of 12:12am and 4:05 am Monday through Friday, and no service on weekends between 11:17pm and 5:30am.

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Traintracks from Stadium Station l…
Traintracks from Stadium Station …
Train unloading a mass of Cardinal…
Train unloading a mass of Cardina…
One day pass.
One day pass.