The Metropolitan St. Louis Area is fairly easy to get around with good highway systems, mass transit on both sides of the Mississippi, a large international airport and several smaller airports, taxis and even a few ferries.
St. Louis has a mass transportation system, Metro Transit, that combines bus service, MetroBus, light rail service, MetroLink, and the Metro Call-A-Ride service. MetroBus has bus routes throughout St. Louis City and County in Missouri and in Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois. MetroLink has two lines. The Red Line runs from the Lambert Airport Terminal 1 station in North St. Louis County to the Shiloh-Scott Air Force Base station in St. Clair County with 26 stations in between. The Blue Line runs from the Shrewsbury/Landsdowne Station in Mid St. Louis County to the Fairview Heights Station in St. Clair County with 22 stations in between. The two lines join at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and share 14 stations. The MetroBus routes get riders around the city and serve as connections to the MetroLink stations as well as a connection between St. Louis City and the surrounding counties. The Metro Call-A-Ride is provided for ADA-Eligible customers as well as the general public and is by reservation only.
The MetroLink is used by local residents and visitors alike to get around the Metro Area. Visitors to St. Louis will take the MetroLink from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to Downtown to stay at one of the many fine hotels while they visit St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch, or attend a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game or one of the many annual events that are held in the city or to enjoy a night playing the slots at the Lumiere Place Casino . The same MetroLink can then take visitors from Downtown out to Forest Park to enjoy the St. Louis Art Museum , the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center or an evening show at the Muny.
Most visitors to St. Louis are amazed that most attractions, entertainment venues, shopping malls and major sports facilities are attainable by St. Louis highways. The highway systems in and out of the City of St. Louis to the surrounding communities are very good. MO-DOT and I-DOT continue to improve the highways with new bridges over the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, new connecting highways being built, as well as lane expansions on existing highways. Three major Interstates come into Downtown St. Louis from Illinois over the Poplar Street Bridge, I-55, I-64, I-70 and radiate out from the city like spokes on a wheel. Interstate 44 begins in Downtown and heads southwest to Joplin Missouri and beyond. Interstate 270 serves as a By-Pass around the city and crosses the Mississippi River going west at the Chain of Rocks Bridge in North St. Louis County, runs in a North and South direction between Mid and West St. Louis County crossing over I-70, I-64, I-44 and I-55 before continuing east as I-255 over the Jefferson Barracks Bridge in South St. Louis County into St. Clair County in Illinois. It then goes north again and meets up with I-270 in Madison County, just north of Pontoon Beach Illinois.
The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport serves the surrounding Metro area and is considered a medium sized, primary, non-hub commercial airport. Lambert records over 6 million commercial passenger boardings per year. It is the largest commercial airport in the area with the closest comparable airports located in Kansas City and Chicago. The region also has several smaller reliever airports. These airports are public airports used by businesses and individuals with private airplanes. In Missouri those include the Spirit of St. Louis Airport located in Chesterfield, the St. Charles Smartt Airport near Portage Des Sioux and the Creve Coeur Airport in Maryland Heights. In Illinois those airports are the St. Louis Regional Airport in Alton, the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia and the Mid America Airport near Scott Air Force Base.
The St. Louis Metro area also has a railway transportation option for visitors and residents. Four Amtrak train stations are located in the region. In Downtown St. Louis, the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center houses the Amtrak station. The Greyhound bus line and Metro Transit have station locations there as well. Passengers can conveniently transfer from one form of transportation to another to get to where ever they are going! There are three other Amtrak stations in the St. Louis area, the Kirkwood Missouri Amtrak Station , the Washington Missouri Amtrak Station and the Alton Illinois Amtrak Station.
A unique way to get between St. Charles County and the two Illinois counties of Calhoun and Jersey are the two river ferries located in the Metro area which are important transportation links between Missouri and Illinois. The Brussels Ferry is a free ferry and located just west of Grafton Illinois in Jersey County Illinois. It is used to cross the Illinois River from the Great River Road (Route 100) to Calhoun County near Brussels Illinois. The other ferry is the Golden Eagle Ferry which is a toll ferry. It is used to cross the Mississippi River from Golden Eagle, a small town in Calhoun County Illinois, to St. Charles County in Missouri.
The transportation service that you might need might be one of the numerous taxi cab and limo companies that serve the Metro area. They take residents and visitors to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Or businessmen and women from hotels to the many business headquarters located in Downtown and the surrounding communities. St. Louis taxis also perform an important service to those who would like to enjoy a few drinks while also enjoying a night out on the town but need a safe drive home.