The major advantage of living in the county is the comfort of getting away from the medical school and downtown St. Louis at the end of the day. You must remember, though, that half-a-million county dwellers are leaving St. Louis behind them at the same time you are; driving in rush hour traffic can be a hassle. Most students do not live more than 15 to 30 minutes away from school.
Getting around St. Louis can cause some problems, particularly if you don’t have a car. Public transportation is fair. Bi-State is the only public bus system and has a number of routes that run regularly throughout the city and out to Clayton in the county. To travel around areas of the county, it may be necessary to transfer buses a couple of times. The buses run frequently during rush hours but waits of more than 1/2 hour are common during the evening hours. In addition, all routes stop running by 12:30 or 1:00 a.m. Buses accept exact change only; fare is $1.25, transfers 10 cents. Children under 12 are charged 60 cents and 5 cents for a transfer.
Weekly passes are available at most banks, major department and grocery stores. Bi-State information (231-2345) gives information on all bus routes, times, and will send you free schedules upon request. (Don’t expect to find them on the bus!) Warning: this phone number is useful on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. ONLY, so plan ahead for weekend trips! Schedules are printed for all routes and drivers stay fairly close to the scheduled time, which can save long waits. Free maps of all routes are also available upon request.
Simply write to:
707 North 1st Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
Enclose $.50 for postage. Or you can stop by their office and pick up the route maps at no charge.
Taxi fares are comparable to other cities. You pay an extra dollar for each additional passenger in your group. Taxi fare from the airport to the neighborhood of the school will cost approximately $25. Some companies do not operate - or are very slow in responding to calls -late at night.
MetroLink is St. Louis’ version of a subway system. The MetroLink stops at various places such as: Laclede’s Landing, Forest Park, Lambert Int’l Airport, Central West End, U. of Missouri-St. Louis, Savvis Center, etc. in addition to various stops on the Illinois side such as: East St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Belleville, Southwestern Illinois College and Scott Air Force Base.
For trips between the Medical Center campus and the North campus, the Billiken Bus is the most convenient (and cheapest!) form of transportation. It is a free shuttle bus system that regularly makes the trip. (See Billiken Bus under Student Parking.) There are also Bi-State buses that travel back and forth on Grand Avenue about every 5-10 minutes. (Grand Avenue bus #70.)
Drivers need a good road map. While any quality map will do, those interested in obtaining AAA maps can contact AAA Auto Club, 3917 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO (314) 531-0700.
Winter driving is not particularly difficult, as it snows relatively infrequently. However, it does get very cold for a brief time, so be sure your car is prepared, with particular attention to the starting components and tires. City snow policy allows for plowing of main roads only.
The Highway System:
Highway 40: Goes East-West and is accessed conveniently from the medical school.
Highway 44: Goes East-West and is accessed conveniently from the medical school. It has more lanes and is usually not congested at rush hour. An alternate for Highway 40, it funnels into Highway 55 close to downtown.
Highway 55: Runs North-South from downtown to southern areas of the city and county.
Highway 70: Runs North-South from downtown to northern areas of the city and county (runs by Airport).
Highway 270: Runs in a semicircle around the city. Intersects all major highways in the area.
Forest Park Expressway: an alternate for Highway 40.
Highway 170: Runs North-South from Highway 40 to Highway 70 near the airport.
Sample Bus Routes (for the car-less)
From Grand and Lindell: Bus 91 (west) - Delmar-McKnight-Travels through some bleak neighborhoods to University City (which has a repertory-type movie theatre, record store, poster shop, etc.)
Bus 91 (east) - Travels downtown (e.g. to a Famous Barr (May Co.) department store.)
Bus 93 - (west) - Lindell-Stops include the Central West End (shops, restaurants, etc.). Washington University has a substantial non-medical bookstore, and downtown Clayton has an out-of-town newsstand among other small stores and restaurants.
Bus 93 - (east) - Travels downtown.
Across the street from the Medical School: Bus 70 - (south) - Grand Avenue bus-Goes to Ted Drewes! Connects with buses that will take you to:
Bus 99 - Lafayette-Goes to the Hill
Bus 11 - Chippewa-Lindbergh-Goes to Crestwood Plaza.
The Health Sciences Center has two parking garages and several surface lots. During orientation you will have the opportunity to sign up for parking.
All parking lots on the Medical Center Campus are fenced and patrolled regularly by Campus Security. A student escort service and a free shuttle is provided on request by Campus Security at any time. Call extension 577-8078 or 977-3000 or ask the Security Officer at the front desk in the Medical School and Campus Security personnel will pick you up and take you where you need to go.
Billiken Bus Line
Saint Louis University runs a free shuttle bus system, the Billiken Bus, during the undergraduate campus school year. The shuttle only runs on weekdays. There are two main lines during the day and a separate evening schedule. The North Campus/HSC Line Runs between the North campus and the Busch Eye Institute every twenty minutes from 7am-7pm. The Health Sciences Center is the midpoint between these two stops. The other daytime line is the North Loop that circles North campus every fifteen minutes from 7am-6pm. The Evening Billiken Bus runs between the Health Sciences Center and North Campus on thirty-minute cycle from 6pm-11pm. It is designed for students who live or park on North Campus but attend classes or work at the HSC. Schedules are published and are available at Busch Center or the LRC. A copy of the schedule is posted at the Medical School’s main entrance on Grand Boulevard and also online at www.slu.edu/services/parking. The Billiken Bus does not run when there is a lot of snow on the ground or on weekends or holidays. Billiken Bus Service Information 977-7128.
Bicycling can be an enjoyable pastime in Tower Grove and Forest Parks and on the quieter streets, but can be dangerous on busy streets during rush hour. Some motorists still aren’t accustomed to encountering bikes in traffic lanes, so it is important to pedal defensively and be aware of hostile drivers. Despite this, an ever-growing number of students are bicycling to school on such busy streets as Grand. There are bike racks near the Learning Resources Center and the nursing school. There is a bike route marked out from Clayton to downtown but it is really only there to keep bicyclists off the busier streets (call City Hall for a map). Bicycles are subject to the two-wheel vehicle laws, as are motorcycles, and registration of bikes is required at City Hall for $1.00. This is not often enforced but can help if your bike is stolen and then recovered.