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New trail to open in St. Louis region next week that links walking/biking with MetroLink

Phase II of the MetroBikeLink trail to open on Oct. 18 in Illinois providing a great new asset to the St. Louis region.

Attention St. Louis area cyclists, walkers and joggers, the new 2.2 mile MetroBikeLink Trail extension located between the Swansea MetroLink Station and the Memorial Hospital Station in St. Clair County, IL is set to open in mid-October, helping to further the evolving multi-model transportation system throughout the region. Join the St. Clair County Transit District on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the Swansea MetroLink Station for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of this new segment.

Live in St. Louis, Clayton, Shrewsbury, North County? Hop on board at a Missouri MetroLink Station with your bike or running shoes and check out the great new trail in IL. It is really that simple! The bike and walking trail will connect from the Memorial Hospital MetroLink Station to Belleville’s North End Park, totaling 6.9 miles of completed trails.  

Even before the official opening, a diverse group or visitors is using the trail system from recreational walkers in the early morning hours; to bikers and walkers during the morning commute; to families, students and individuals throughout the day; and the return of the commuting population in the evening. By adding this 2.2 mile segment, the St. CLair County Transit District is opening the system even more to residents and visitors alike. It is a great way to see a slice of life in Illinois along the trail system.

St. Clair County Transit District will celebrate the completion of the project with a ribbon cutting at the Swansea MetroLink Station’s Park-Ride Lot.  Those in attendance will hear from Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board Chair; John Nations, Metro President & CEO; and Mike Buehlhorn, Executive Director of the Metro East Park and Recreation District, before being invited to explore the new trail. St. Clair County representatives will also be on hand to demonstrate how to use the MetroBus bicycle racks at the station, helping area commuters understand how they can stretch their trips farther by linking biking with the use of MetroBus or MetroLink. Cyclists can take their bikes on MetroLink for no extra charge. They just need to stand at the back of the MetroLink train cars to load their  bicycles

Moving forward, the St. Clair County Transit District hopes to extend the trail 3.5 miles westward to the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station and 3.5 miles eastward to the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink Station.

What a great asset this trail is to the St.  Louis region and a hidden gem to many residents on the Missouri side of the river.  For $3, a resident on the Missouri side of the system, can jump on at the Clayton, Shrewsbury, Maplewood, Brentwood or any station along the MetroLink alignment, cross the river via the Eads Bridge and head out to Illinois. The MetroBikeLink parallels the MetroLink alignment making it easy to jump off and take a walk, run or ride. Perfect way to explore Illinois by bike, train or your own Ten Toes!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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