GOOD Ideas for Cities: Connecting Neighborhoods to Light Rail

How to encourage citizens to become advocates for a light rail line, even if they don't live near it? Turn it into a mobile gallery for civic pride.


St. Louis has a relatively new light rail system, yet it still isn't used by large parts of the city. One major issue is proximity: There are 79 neighborhoods in St. Louis, yet the light rail system only runs through a handful of them. So how can the city encourage more residents to ride and become advocates for the light rail system? As part of GOOD Ideas for Cities St. Louis, STL Alley Lovers presented its idea for how transform the light rail network into a source of neighborhood pride. Each of the 79 neighborhoods in St. Louis would perform a "takeover" of a light rail car, turning it into an environment that best represents their community. Pop-up storefronts, restaurants, galleries, and in-car bars would rotate in and out of the light rail system, encouraging residents from represented neighborhoods to experience the light rail, and providing a city-wide attraction that creates civic pride. By showcasing the unique communities of St. Louis, the light rail system becomes a destination in itself.

Challenge: We have a world-class light rail system in St. Louis. However, we have not seen a major effort to leverage the system as a catalyst for building more livable communities in the St. Louis region. How might we increase ridership on St. Louis' light rail to help demonstrate to the city the important opportunities around transit?

Citizens for Modern Transit, Kim Cella
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Rhonda K. Hamm-Niebruegge

STL Alley Lovers: Christopher Galli, Andy Heaslet, Derek Hoeferlin, Monika Jankowiak, Jenny Murphy, Jonathan Stitelman

To learn more about this idea visit The 79 on 1 Line Tumblr.

Video by CAM and Nine Network

GOOD Ideas for Cities pairs creative problem-solvers with real urban challenges proposed by civic leaders. To learn more visit

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