Metro Transit

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Federal court sides with Quinn in pay dispute

A federal appeals court has sided with Illinois governor Pat Quinn over canceled pay raises due to thousands of union workers.

(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

Residents can weigh in starting today on proposed fare increases for mass transit in St. Louis. The Metro transit agency is considering three options for raising fares this year – one would increase only the costs of weekly, monthly and university semester passes; the second would raise the cost of all passes except day passes; and the third would spread the increase to all fares, including buses and Metrolink. 

(via Flickr/binkle_28)

Updated 2:20 p.m.

Metro tweeted from their official account at 2:11 p.m. that "Fiber optic cable has been restored and MetroLink and trains resuming normal service."

Original Story:

Commuters who use MetroLink, listen up: a damaged fiber optic cable will add to your travel time today.

St. Louis Public Radio Staff / St. Louis Public Radio

A months-long project that will involve grinding Metrolink’s entire system of rails begins Friday night.

It’s the first time since the late 1990’s that Metro has done the grinding on its light rail line. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams says it will make the track more smooth and improve riders' experience. 

"It needs to be done periodically. It simply extends the life of the rail, and that's a big investment in the track," Williams said.

The work will be done at night, which means people may see bright red sparks where the grinding of metal on metal is being done.

UPI/Tom Uhlenbro

Insurers have spent more than $1 billion in Joplin tornado claims

After spending about $1.13 billion in claims tied to the Joplin tornado, insurers expect payouts to continue to grow. 

The head of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration says total insured losses could be $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion. John Huff called the tornado the "largest insurance event in Missouri history."

(via St. Louis Downtown Airport Facebook page)

Officials say the completion of improvements to the main runway at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia will help the facility expand its clientele and generate new business. 

The six-month, $7.4 million project widened and lengthened the runway and improved the runway’s lighting system. Airport director Bob McDaniel says they also strengthened the runway to support larger aircraft like the Boeing 757 and Airbus 320.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The Metro Board of Commissioners announced today that they have passed their operating budget for fiscal year 2012, which begins July 1.

Metro's operating costs will be significantly impacted by higher fuel costs and the "volatility" of metal prices for parts and supplies Metro said in a release.

So, will fares go up? Metro said no:

(St. Louis Public Radio)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. announced today that St. Louis has been awarded a $4 million federal grant for public transportation upgrades.

The money will be provided jointly by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration, according to a press release from McCaskill's office. 

So, how will St. Louis use the money?

The release states that the grants will be used to aid in the replacement of up to 12 buses in the Metro's current bus fleet.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Improved traffic flow and safer conditions for pedestrians who use the Grand Blvd. bridge are two of the benefits of the 15-month closure that will start at 5am on Monday, March 14th.

The 52-year-old crossing is structurally deficient, and in danger of being closed permanently, says the city's chief engineer, Rich Bradley.

The sister of a woman who died after being struck by a Metro bus on Dec. 3, 2010 has filed a wrongful death suit against Bi-State Development Agency, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The Post-Dispatch describes the details of the lawsuit:

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