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jacob r from warrensburg on 1/5/2023 11:55:52 AM:
Hello was planning to ride the katy this spring and was wondering if there are any decent bike routes from machens, st charles , or any poonts within 20 miles of the eastern terminus that can safely get you to kirkwood or st louis amtrak stations. or is it just better to get a shuttle. I would rather not pay more than 50 dollars to get from the end of the trail to amtrak.

Matthew Bird from Weldon Spring on 1/7/2023 5:17:47 PM:
I cab do it for a fair price Jacob. please send me a message at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100086723049036 or matthewbird76@gmail.com

Todd White on 1/8/2023 6:16:00 PM:
This is a great topic for discussion as it comes up all the time. I am detailing options below, maybe others have ideas I have not thought of. I think the overriding question is... what is a fair fee? One that is equitable for the Customer, Driver and Owner. SHORT ANSWER: If you found someone to shuttle you from Machens to the Amtrak Station for $50 I would grab it! Especially if you're splitting the bill with another rider (or more). CHEAP ALTERNATIVES: By Far, the cheapest way to go is to ride your bike. 2nd cheapest route I have found is to ride your bike to the St. Louis Airport and hop on Metrolink (Light Rail) which will drop you downtown St. Louis right by the Amtrak Station. PUBLIC TRANSPORT OPTIONS While that low-cost Amtrak ticket is subsidized by US Taxpayers, private transportation companies get no such subsidy. Government Funded Options like the Bi-State Bus and Metrolink will reduce your cost, but they don't go to Machens (I am not sure about BiState in St. Charles) but certainly not Machens. PRIVATE SHUTTLE AMTRAK? A regularly scheduled Amtrak run where multiple riders could share the fare would be beautiful, but here's the hurdle... Amtrak only takes 4 bikes. SO... on any given day there are only 4 potential customers for a service like that. AND.. this assumes all 4 are going to the same Amtrak Station (St. Louis, Kirkwood, Washington). It's hard to build a profitable business model out of a market this small. UBER / LYFT You are likely going to need an UberXL since Uber drivers don't typically have bike racks. This means you will be trying to convince the driver to let you stuff your dusty, grit covered bicycle and pannier bags into the back of his Cadillac Escalade. OH... and I doubt anyone will like the price. PRIVATE SHUTTLE COMPANIES For a Private Shuttle company, they must dedicate a vehicle and driver to take you to the Amtrak Station at the time you request, which is usually mid-day. This means booking a 1pm Amtrak run for $50 means you can't pick up that $440 Clinton run. You also have to find someone willing to work a 2hr shift in the middle of the day. PERSONAL VEHICLES Which leaves you with someone doing this out of their personal vehicle. Not as bad as it sounds. This is the Cycling Community that brought you "Warm Showers" and Cycling Hostels like the Tebbets Shelter (vs a hotel) SO... WHAT IS A FAIR FARE? Let's say someone is willing to do this for you using their private vehicle leaving out of their home in Weldon Spring. You have negotiated a time to meet in Machens and you experience no delays like flat tires, lunch in St. Charles running over etc... which would leave them sitting at the trailhead (I have paid a driver for 5hrs of sit time waiting for someone to arrive in Clinton before because they stopped for beers and decided to have a half dozen... but I digress). You are on time. For the driver out of Weldon Spring, he drives to Machens, picks you up and takes you to the Kirkwood Amtrak Station then returns directly home. Google Maps says 1hr 53 minutes' drive time and 84 miles. Let's say the vehicle gets 21mpg and gas is $3 per gallon. Formula: (("Fare" - "Fuel Cost") / 2 hrs) = Driver Salary (assumes no wear and tear on the vehicle, no replenishment cost or maintenance. $50 fare = $19hr for the driver $40 fare = $13hr $30 fare = $9hr $40 is barely above minimum wage ($12hr in Missouri 2023)

Bill in Houston from Houston on 1/9/2023 5:07:38 PM:
if you search the group for Kirkwood or station, you'll probably find the bike route to the Kirkwood station. I have not used it, but many others have.

Ray (webmaster) on 1/10/2023 8:48:40 AM:
After riding 200+ miles on the trail, you may appreciate the comfort and convenience of a shuttle. But if you do decide to ride, here are the most highly recommended routes from Katy Trail to Kirkwood: https://bikekatytrail.com/kirkwood.aspx At the bottom of that page, you'll find links for route suggestions to downtown St Louis, and the Lambert - St Louis Airport. Happy trails!

Ted from Woodlands Texas on 1/18/2023 11:56:11 AM:
Lots of great comments on getting to Amtrak on the East end What about the West End - I am thinking of riding to Pleasant Hill then getting to the Amtrak station in Lee Summit for the ride home. How busy are the Roads? Other Ideas? Thanks

Mark from Lee's Summit on 1/18/2023 10:14:36 PM:
From the east end at Machens there are low traffic roads that can get you to the Mississippi River bridge to Alton, Illinois. Then there is a nice paved levee trail on the Illinois side that get you to Chain of Rocks bike/ped bridge back across the Mississippi River to the Missouri side. Then there is a paved trail along the Missouri side all the way to Downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch. The Downtown Amtrak station is not far from the Arch and you can even use bike lanes most of the way.s As far as the west side in Pleasant Hill, there are about 4 different low traffic routes that link Pleasant Hill to Lee's Summit and run between 8-12 miles. All of them include rural two lane roads with no shoulders. Unfortunately the lowest traffic roads include short sections of large gravel. It is not too bad, but you need to be comfortable with some biking on paved two lane roads with some rural traffic. If you give me an idea of what kind of on road route you prefer, then I can give you a better recommendation.