Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Takeoff: Metrolink Opens Lambert Stop Saturday

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Takeoff: Metrolink Opens Lambert Stop Saturday

Article excerpt

After the 18th MetroLink station opens this weekend, Lambert Field will be just 34 minutes from downtown - 34 air-conditioned minutes.

Transit officials plan to open the light-rail line's airport station at noon Saturday, about 11 months after opening the first part of the system.

Officials of the Bi-State Development Agency, the area's transit operator, said MetroLink's connection to the airport would be the best of any light-rail system in the nation. "This is a milestone for transportation in St. Louis," said John K. Leary Jr., Bi-State's executive director.

Leary predicted that 1,000 people a day would ride the line to the airport. But Leonard Griggs, Lambert Field's director, went further, forecasting 5,000 a day.

In a preview of the station on Tuesday, Leary and other officials drew this picture of how St. Louisans will get to the airport from downtown in 34 minutes: Travelers will be able to park at two downtown lots for $4 a day and ride MetroLink to the airport for a dollar.

Bi-State bans parking for more than 24 hours at the MetroLink parking lots. If security workers find a car parked longer than 24 hours, the owner might discover that the car has been towed or might have to pay a fine.

But two lots downtown have agreed to charge $4 a day for MetroLink riders headed to the airport. The lots are the Convention Center garage at Ninth Street and Washington Avenue and the St. Louis Centre garage at Sixth Street and Washington Avenue.

Riders can take their luggage with them on the train, as long as they keep it out of the walkway. Some trains have overhead luggage racks. …

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