The U.S. Department of Transportation's Under Secretary for Policy Peter Rogoff praised St. Louis' "vision" on Friday after the city received a $10.3 million federal grant for a new MetroLink station.
The planned light-rail station at Boyle Avenue and Sarah Street is a key part of the master plan for the Cortex innovation hub in St. Louis' Central West End. Rogoff said it will make it easier for workers to get to and from the developing high-tech area of midtown.
The union that represents local bus and train drivers and mechanics picketed outside Metro headquarters in downtown St. Louis Thursday.
About 60 members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) circled Metro’s office building for more than hour in the midday heat, carrying signs and chanting. Chants alternated between “Nations’ pockets are lined with gold” and “We are one ATU.”
Many of the workers were upset that Metro CEO John Nations’ annual salary will increase by $75,000 beginning in 2015. Union members say they haven’t received a raise in six years.
Metro is building the North County Transit Center to make the public transit experience more comfortable for big chunk of its ridership. But Metro COO Ray Friem jokingly said his agency has an ulterior motive for the project.
“I’ll be honest with you. The real reason to do this is to say that a bus system took over a car dealership,” Friem said on Tuesday. “Who would have thought that was ever going to happen?”
Ray Friem of Metro has a simple message to riders of its Grand Line: “The big buses have arrived.”
Metro showed off its refurbished, 60-foot, articulated buses on Friday. The buses represent the transit service’s response to overcrowding on the #70 Grand Line. Metro’s busiest route is often so crowded that riders have to stand – or can't even get on.
A new report suggests that Americans in urban areas are driving less.
The analysis of the 100 largest urban areas in the country by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that since 2000, fewer commuters are using cars to get to work. And in most cities, the use of public transportation has gone up (since 2005), and more people are biking to work or working from home (since 2000).
But, in St. Louis, the trend is less clear. Fewer workers are relying on cars, but the use of public transportation has also decreased.