ST. LOUIS — If you're heading downtown for opening day Thursday, one option for Metro East fans is no more.
Redbird Express shuttle from St. Clair County to Busch Stadium will not be running this season.
This is because of a driver shortage.
Bi-State Development, which runs MetroBus and MetroLink, has a partnership with St. Clair County Transit District.
For decades, the Redbird Express took fans from St. Clair Square Mall in Fairview Heights to Busch Stadium.
The pandemic stopped it in its tracks and now the ripple effects are still being felt with a bus operator shortage.
There are still some options.
Baseball fans can leave their car at one of the 19 free lots at the MetroLink stations in Missouri and Illinois, purchase a $5 day pass and get unlimited train rides to Busch Stadium.
President and CEO of Bi-State Development Taulby Roach said unfortunately, the cut needed to be done.
"Redbird was a supplemental service, a base service in addition to MetroLink and it was a great option for our customers in St. Clair County," said Roach. "We still needed to get folks out there, we needed employment capability to put the service out and we don’t have the right now in today’s environment."
In early March, Metro was down 122 operators and mechanics.
Roach told 5 On Your Side the hiring process has gotten better and they offer a $2,000 bonus for new operators.
Just a reminder, if you are going to be riding the bus or train, a mask is still required per a federal mandate.
Metro Transit will have additional security and personnel available throughout the transit system on April 7 to assist passengers.
To plan your trip to Cardinals Opening Day festivities, check the schedules and information here, use the Transit app, or contact Metro Transit Information at 314-231-2345 (phone) or 314-207-9786 (text), available 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.