Transportation & Infrastructure

The St. Louis area offers many transportation advantages for those living and doing business here. St. Louis enjoys access to four modes of transportation - air, rail, road, and water, providing superior access to local, national, and international markets.  The central location and robust infrastructure systems afford some of the lowest shipping costs in the country.

The easy-to-navigate transportation infrastructure includes four interstate highways and four interstate linkages. The region is at the nexus of the nation’s north/south and east/west interstate highway systems. St. Louis also has an effective mass transportation grid that features MetroLink, the city’s commuter rail system that connects Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the downtown area, and communities in Illinois and Missouri.

Situated at the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers, St. Louis is home to the nation’s second-largest inland port by tonnage, with six Class I railroads and several smaller industrial rail lines; St. Louis is one of the nation's largest rail centers.


The St. Louis area’s main airport, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, is a national hub with two terminals, five concourses, serving nine mainline passenger airlines, and three all-cargo airlines, as well as a few charter carriers.  Southwest Airlines has focused on St. Louis as a growth market and with increased service now has the largest carrier presence in the airport. 

MidAmerica Airport serves as the St. Louis Region’s second full service commercial airport and as a reliever to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Located in St. Clair County, IL, it provides state-of-the-art facilities for passengers, traffic, and cargo, including an adjacent 800-acre industrial park. It has a 10,000 foot and an 8,000 foot runway and serves cargo, commercial, and military flights.  Much of the area surrounding the airport is an Illinois Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District designed to help appropriate new businesses locate nearby and the airport is part of a Foreign Trade Zone.

Spirit of St. Louis Airport, the area’s largest regional airport is home to over 500 aircraft and two full runways.  St. Louis Downtown Airport, is just across the river from the City of St. Louis in Sauget, IL and provides quick access to the downtown area. It is located on a 1,013 acre site with an industrial-business park.  St. Louis Regional Airport is only 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis in East Alton, IL and serves a diverse clientele — from corporate aircraft and general aviators to the U.S. military and regional aircraft makers. At 2,300 acres, the airport is Illinois’ fourth largest, handling an average of 80,000 operations per year.

Home to six Class I railroads and several smaller industrial rail lines, St. Louis is one of the nation's largest rail centers.

Class 1

  • Burlington Northern Santa Fe
  • Canadian National Railway
  • CSX
  • Kansas City Southern
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Union Pacific


  • Effingham Railroad
  • Illinois Western Railway

Switching and Terminal

  • Central Midland Railway
  • Missouri and Valley Park Railroad
  • Terminal Railroad


  • AmTrak (daily service to Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City)
  • MetroLink (light rail public transportation system)

St. Louis has state-of-art intermodal facilities providing many advantages to the freight transportation business, including reductions in cargo handling, improved security, reduced damages and loss, and allowing freight to be transported faster. The major intermodal facilities include:

  • BNSF Intermodal
  • CSX Intermodal
  • Norfork Southern Intermodal
  • America's Central Port District
  • Triple Crown Services
  • Union Pacific Intermodal

Defined by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the Port of Metropolitan St. Louis extends 70 miles along both banks of the Mississippi River from the southern boundary of Jefferson County, Missouri at Mississippi River Mile 138.8 (above the Ohio River) to the northern boundary of Madison County, Illinois at River Mile 208.8.  The port is located at the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers, northern-most lock- and ice-free port on the Inland Waterway, operates year round.  The port has about 130 wharves, piers, docks, fleeting and other facilities on both sides of the Mississippi and is the second largest inland port by tonnage and moves 33 million tons of mostly bulk commodities annually.


Greater St. Louis has a large supply of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) sites with two FTZs, including one under the new Alternative Site Framework program, with multiple sites and several special purpose sub-zones located conveniently close to truck, rail, barge, and air access.

Foreign Trade Zone No. 31 is a public/private sector venture operated by the America's Central Port District in Granite City, IL and includes five traditional general purpose sites with flexible warehouse/industrial space with excellent multi-modal transportation access.

For more information:

Foreign Trade Zone No. 102 covers the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County and is operated by the St. Louis County Port Authority. 

For more information:


Four interstate highways intersect the St. Louis region: I-44, I-55, I-64, I-70 and four interstate linkages provide further connections for St. Louis motorists: I-255, I-170, I-270.

Construction of the new Mississippi Bridge in downtown St. Louis was completed in 2014. The $640 million, 4-lane bridge is a cable-stayed design carrying I-70 across the river and relieving traffic on the Poplar Street Bridge downtown which currently carries I-55 and I-64 traffic.


Metro operates the St. Louis Metropolitan region's public transportation system. The Metro System includes MetroLink, the region's light rail system; MetroBus, the region's bus system; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit van system. Metro carried over 40 million passengers on MetroLink, MetroBus, and Metro Call-A-Ride vans.  The Metrolink light rail commuter train system now encompasses 46 miles of track, 37 stations, and 19 park-ride lots with 10,000 parking spaces. Other systems linking up with Metro include Madison County Transit and St. Charles Area Transit System.


Greater St. Louis enjoys unparalleled access to reliable and cost-effective energy, virtually unlimited water capacity, and exceptional telecommunications resources. The St. Louis region has some of the lowest industrial and residential electric rates in the U.S.  According to the latest Memphis Power Survey, St. Louis has the lowest industrial electricity rates for 20,000 kW, 10,000,000 kWh per month,  and above,  as well as the fourth lowest residential rate at 1,000 kWh.


Greater St. Louis has a long history in the telecommunications industry. Southwestern Bell was founded here in 1920 with roots going back to 1877. Today, AT&T Missouri is one of the area’s largest employers.  St. Louis’ strength as a center for corporate headquarters has resulted in the creation of significant telecommunications and IT infrastructure and workforce to support these industries.

The St. Louis region enjoys a superior broadband infrastructure.  The SAVVIS division of CenturyLink is headquartered in Greater St. Louis and has a significant percent of global Internet routes with 17,000 miles of Tier 1 OC192 backbone. This network extends to 45 countries through their worldwide data centers.

Over 40 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) exist in the region including industry leaders:

  • AT&T – regional operations center
  • CenturyLink
  • Charter Communications – operational headquarters
  • Level 3 Communications
  • SAVVIS – St. Louis division headquarters
  • Sprint
  • Time Warner Telecom - one of two National Operations Centers
  • Verizon
  • XO Communications - Network Management Center

Connections to carrier hotels offer multiple connections to the many broadband carriers doing business in the St. Louis region.  The St. Louis Regional Exchange is the only U.S. municipally sponsored Internet exchange point, or broadband hub, to expedite and optimize regional Internet traffic and services.

St. Louis Gateway regional transportation and logistics website:

St. Louis Transportation Overview Map
Utilities Overview