St. Louis Light Rail, Airport to Downtown
September 10, 2014 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Would you take the St. Louis Light Rail from the airport to downtown? I am staying in the hotel made from the old train station and flying into STL. I won't have much in the way of baggage.

Reviews on the web have been mixed but I can't tell what is "it is scary because there are brown people" and what is a legit criticism. I live in NYC and have lived in SF, so I am public transit functional, but I also don't want to be the only person on a train with a bunch of drunks (if that is even a problem).

If yes, is there anything else I should know / keep in mind?
posted by dame to Travel & Transportation around St. Louis, MO (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My mom and her friends (a bunch of little old white ladies) take the train into downtown from the remote park-n-ride lots to go to Cardinals baseball games all the time. They love it and find it super easy and safe.

I would just keep an eye out for any sporting events or festivals that might be going on when you're traveling -- those kinds of things can really flood the system (it's not super high capacity).

Have fun!
posted by pantarei70 at 9:15 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Assuming by "the hotel made from the old train station" you mean the Hotel that is in Union Station, then sure. It would be quite easy to ride Metrolink from Lambert to Union Station. The stop is very close by but on the opposite side of Union Station from the hotel. But I wouldn't consider it scary personally.
posted by cmm at 9:15 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: /checks to see where you're from

/oh, Brooklyn?

Definitely take the Metrolink; you'll be fine. My 6X-year-old boss does it monthly.
posted by General Malaise at 9:17 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks you everyone! I knew I would get better answers from you than from random students on Yelp.
posted by dame at 9:20 AM on September 10, 2014

Yeah, metrolink is super easy to manage! Just make sure that you both purchase and validate your ticket.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:23 AM on September 10, 2014

I've done this multiple times, no problem. You do have to walk across a parking lot from the Metrolink station to Union Station. (I do hope that hotel has improved since I was there some years ago.)

The area around Union Station is pretty deserted after 6 pm, which makes me nervous, but that has nothing to do with the Metrolink.
posted by QIbHom at 9:33 AM on September 10, 2014

A non-obvious thing to keep in mind is that the St Louis metrolink ticketing system involves buying a ticket and then validating it in another machine before you get to the platform. Make sure to remember to validate, or else you might end up with a fine to pay.
posted by motorcycles are jets at 9:39 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you're "public-transit functional" you'd probably do this by nature, but just in case:

If you take the train back to the airport, you'll want to be sure to catch a Red Line train. St. Louis's light rail is basically one line through the city that then splits off into a northern branch that heads to Lambert Airport (the Red Line) and a southern branch (the Blue Line). So at the Union Station stop, both trains stop there, at the same platform.

The trains are pretty clearly marked, and there are maps, but I've seen many, many people get on the Metrolink from the Amtrak station or going home from a baseball game or wherever, and then be confused when the train doesn't go back where they came from.
posted by brentajones at 9:43 AM on September 10, 2014

Take it, you'll be fine. (Note what motorcycles are jets says about validating tickets, though.)

Also, since it sounds like you're staying at the Union Station DoubleTree: Their breakfast buffet is fantastic.
posted by silentbicycle at 4:38 AM on September 11, 2014

Response by poster: Just wanted to dip in and confirm that the light rail was easy and pleasant. Also St. Louis was much more charming than I had expected, everyone was ridiculously nice, and the City Museum is a glorious place. Thanks so much St. Louis & Mefites.
posted by dame at 11:49 AM on September 22, 2014

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