ST. LOUIS TRANSPORTATION
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) is an easy to navigate, midsize airport with plenty of shops and lots of domestic and Canadian flights. Its geographic location near the nation's mid-section, makes it an atrractive alternative to changing planes in Chicago.
Transit: Metrolink light rail runs from STL Airport to downtown St. Louis. Shuttles: Some airport hotels have shuttles; their pick-up phones are located by Terminal exits MT 12 & 17. Taxis are at the Main Terminal lower level. A taxi ride from STL Airport to downtown costs $25-30, depending on commute time. Car Rental service includes Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. The most direct route to downtown is to follow airport exit signs to I-70 Freeway, East; then it’s 11-12 miles.
Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center located at 430 South 15th Street is the St. Louis home for Amtrak. Operating 24/7, the transportation center has a food court and earns an intermodal status for hosting Greyhound, while being adjacent to a Metrolink Light Rail station, a rental car center, and a major taxi station. Gateway hosts these daily Amtrak routes:
Missouri: Chicago-Springfield-St Louis-Jefferson City-Kansas City
Illinois: Chicago-St Louis
Texas Eagle: Chicago-St. Louis-Little Rock-Dallas-Ft Worth-San Antonio
Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, St. Louis
As incremental upgrades complete in 2012-15, Amtrak service in Chicago-Springfield-St. Louis will be upgraded to 110 mph and many daily trains. Later this decade, Amtrak service in the St. Louis-Jefferson City-Kansas City and Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison-Minneapolis corridors will be upgraded to 110 mph and more daily trains as well. For more context on this important subject, see Interstate High Speed Rail.
MetroLink light rail transit runs every 6 minutes during peak periods, then tapers to 30 minutes. You can get from STL airport to the Downtown convention center in only 35 minutes. Service runs from 4:30a-12-57a. Though St. Louis metro area plans to expand their number, current MetroLink lines are: METROLINK SYSTEM MAP
Red: STL Airport-Forest Park-Downtown-Gateway Arch-East St. Louis-Belleville-Shiloh
Blue: Shrewsbury-Clayton-University City-Forest Park-Downtown-Gateway Arch-Fairview Heights
Metrolink train headed to downtown St. Louis from Illinois
One-Day MetroLink Pass costs $7.50, which is useful if your travel plans include visits to Downtown, University City or Forest Park.
St. Louis Freeway Network is designed to get you quickly to downtown, points west and the airport and Interstates 70, 44, 64 and 55 freeways interconnect at or near downtown. Unfortunately, the freeways exits downtown can approach quickly with little forewarning by freeway signage, so be attentive. Freeway names are:
44 Interstate from I-55 near downtown to southwest Missouri
55 Interstate from Memphis to St Louis to Chicago
64 Interstate (Route 40) Illinois thru St. Louis
70 Interstate from east Coast to St. Louis to Kansas City
170 Interstate connector between I-64, I-70 and I-270
255 Interstate joins I-270 in Illinois to form a St. Louis beltway
270 Interstate beltway on the western side of St. Louis
Martin Luther King Bridge, St. Louis
Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge, formerly known as Veterans Bridge when built in 1951, is a dramatic cantilever truss bridge spanning the Mississippi River. It connects St. Louis with East St. Louis, IL. Renovated over the years, it is considered to be an integral part of Route 770 Highway. Get an excellent view of this bridge from Laclede’s Landing on the St. Louis riverfront.
Parking downtown is fine except during major events, where you need to arrive early. Use secured parking lots with guards and check for ID badges of the parking lot attendant, even around America's Center and the Gateway Arch.