Passenger 1

Making the most of a free UPass, UMSL graduate student Kelly Childress says she avoids heavy traffic – and actually arrives to campus sooner – by riding MetroLink. (Photos courtesy of Bi-State Development Agency)

Earning a master’s degree at the University of Missouri–St. Louis requires a lot of mental energy – but the commute to campus doesn’t have to, according to MetroLink passenger Kelly Childress.

“Any time I don’t have to drive is awesome,” the criminology and criminal justice student told Metro’s social media communications manager Matthew Hibbard at the start of the fall semester. “There’s usually a lot of traffic. MetroLink is faster.”

Metro estimates 45,000 fewer vehicles enter St. Louis highways each day because of commuters like Childress, whom Metro recently featured on its NextStop STL blog. For Childress and many other members of the UMSL community, dumping the pump just makes sense.

Passenger 2

UMSL staff member Bob Ell

As a UMSL student, Childress receives a customized UPass that allows her to ride the Metro system free of charge. And UMSL faculty and staff may purchase a transit pass at a significantly discounted rate of $65 per semester.

MetroLink rider and International Studies and Programs staff member Bob Ell, in another recent “Passenger Profile” by Hibbard, said he saves somewhere between $60 and $80 per month using public transportation.

But it’s not just about the money, Ell told Metro. He enjoys reading and listening to podcasts on the train, taking a greener approach to getting around and exploring new areas in the region.

Passenger 3

UMSL adjunct instructor of philosophy Lisa Cagle

“I enjoy traveling new routes,” he said. “It’s fun to see different parts of the city.”

Metro also profiled Lisa Cagle, an adjunct instructor of philosophy at UMSL, in November. Cagle’s story points to the value of public transportation to the St. Louis region as a whole as well as to her personally.

Since ditching her car entirely last winter after a serious accident, she’s navigated the city solely by transit and bicycle. She works at Citizens for Modern Transit in addition to teaching at UMSL, where she was a student six years ago when she first began using the Metro system.

Metro passes are available in the Cashier’s Office (285 Millennium Student Center).

The UMSL Experience

Evie Hemphill

Evie Hemphill