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'It's my life' | Grace's bus stop in Glendale to shut down

It's part of MetroBus' new system-wide changes going into effect on Sept. 30.

ST. LOUIS — It's been a big part of her life, and the community of Glendale for the last 8 years.

After Metro announced new routes, one of the last lines of public transportation in Glendale is getting shut down.

Behind all the honks and the waves, you'll find Grace Mehan and her bus stop.

"My bus stop is really important to me because it's my life and my living," explained Grace.

It's so important to Grace, the city of Glendale named the stop after her.

"Every day I come down here to take the bus to work and then take the bus home," said Grace.

But the bus stop that's been her saving grace is being shut down after Metro link rolled out new routes for its buses.

"Do you feel like you've lost a little bit of your independence because of that? asked 5 On Your Side's Brandon Merano.

"Yes I do," answered Grace.

For nearly the last decade she's relied on but number 56 to get almost everywhere she needs to go. 

"It makes me cry that I'm going to miss the bus," explained Grace.

It's more than just a wooden bench for Grace, from decorating for valentines day, luaus, the dog days of summer, honoring veterans, bringing awareness to down syndrome and throwing Christmas parties, it's been a big part of her life.

"It's been so rewarding that people have embraced Grace and her mission," said Grace's Mother.

A mission for independence, that her bus stop helps her carry out.

Starting on September 30th she'll have to walk to another stop, then catch a second bus at the busy intersection at Big Bend and Kirkwood Rd.

"It's just not safe for Grace and I really don't know if it's safe for anyone," said Grace's Mother 

Now there will be no buses anywhere in Glendale, sad news for Grace and her beloved bus number 56.

"It's my life to be on it, and people with disabilities take the bus and now it's leaving me because it's my life to have my bus stop here and I'm going to miss it," said Mehan.

It's a feeling many who pass by share too.

Here is the full statement from Metro:

"With the systemwide changes to MetroBus service going into effect on September 30, we are transforming our services to better meet the transportation needs of the entire St. Louis region. The system we operate today has seen declining ridership, about a 20% decrease over the last five years. The bus system needs to be more effective and efficient for our riders, and with our current financial resources, it is also not economically sustainable.

With the new MetroBus plan, we are focusing taxpayer resources toward providing the type of services that riders have told us they want, and that have seen success in other markets. This includes more direct trips and more frequent service, which include new high-frequency MetroBus routes – with 10 of the most popular routes offering service every 15-minutes or faster.

These necessary changes have required Metro Transit to make hard decisions about where to use our available resources. In order to provide effective, frequent service to the most people throughout the entire St. Louis area, we needed to redirect service away from areas and routes that had the lowest ridership. The segment of the #56 Kirkwood-Webster in Glendale where Grace’s stop is located has very low ridership, and it is not economically viable to continue operating a 40-foot bus in that area.

However, we do not want to minimize the impact of these changes to Grace and other Metro riders in the region, and a key part of our planning process was to make these new options as accessible as possible. For Grace, we worked closely with her family, the City of Glendale and St. Louis County to explore ways to keep her new bus stop close to her home and her new bus route as convenient as possible with the resources we have available."

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