MetroLink

Sarah Kellogg

Despite construction around Forest Park, Fair St. Louis officials say they are ready for the large crowds expected to attend this week’s event.

This is the second year Forest Park is hosting the three-day event after construction on the Arch grounds forced it to change locations.

Courtesy CityArchRiver

Most of the renovations at the Gateway Arch are scheduled to be finished in October, in time for the monument’s 50th anniversary.

Work on the park over the highway, Luther Ely Smith Square and the riverfront will be done by October, said Ryan McClure, CityArchRiver’s communications director. CityArchRiver is a $380 million effort to connect the Gateway Arch and the city.

File photo | Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

A transportation advocacy group is commissioning a study to find alternative funding mechanisms for public transit. 

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

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.

Courtesy of Citizens for Modern Transit

Metro Transit has secured most of the funding it needs to build a new MetroLink station in the Cortex innovation district.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is granting $10.3 million from its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, program.

“This is the lion’s share of the funding,” said Metro Transit President and CEO John Nations. The federal grant covers nearly all of the project’s nearly $13 million cost.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

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.

(Provided by St. Louis County police)

A 13-year veteran of the St. Louis County police force was suspended without pay Friday after being charged with second-degree assault for breaking a man's hand with his police baton. 

County Police Chief Jon Belmar said Dawon Gore, 44, has not been at work since the April 21 incident at the North Hanley MetroLink station. Gore had been serving as an officer in the MetroLink unit. 

St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Starting this summer, it will cost more money to ride some of Metro’s public transportation services. 

Metro’s Board of Commissioners on Friday approved transit fare increases that will go into effect on July 1. It comes after the agency solicited public feedback on how to raise fares for bus and train services.

Here’s what the fare increase will mean for riders:

St. Louis Public Radio

What better way to show potential development in an area than to actually have that development “pop-up” for all to see. That was Citizens for Modern Transit’s idea when it launched the Metro Market at the finish line celebration of CMT’s Great Race on May 8 at the Shrewsbury-Lansdowne MetroLink Station.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday)

A pro-transit organization released a study today that could lead to a new MetroLink station in St. Louis’ central corridor. 

A study by Citizens for Modern Transit examined the costs and viability of building a MetroLink station between Sarah and Boyle in Midtown. The station would be located close to CORTEX, a fast-growing bioscience and technology hub. And it would also be close to where furniture retailer Ikea is expected to set up shop in 2015.

File photo | Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

The Missouri Legislature is considering asking voters to raise the sales tax by 1 percent (SJR 48) to fund transportation projects. For the first time, transit, bike, pedestrian and passenger rail projects would be eligible to compete for funding.

But this proposition is risky for non-highway modes of transportation. Why? That is the same funding source cities, transit agencies, bike and pedestrian interests, transportation development districts and community improvement districts are using to make local improvements in the absence of state funding.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

The Number 70 Grand bus is Thelonda Malone’s primary source of transportation — besides her feet. 

Malone uses the Metro Transit's busiest bus route to get to and from work. She says it’s useful. But some aspects of the ride could use some improvement.

For one thing: When Malone gets off work at 5:30 p.m., she says she has a “50 percent chance of even being able to get on the bus.” If Malone does catch that second bus, she usually has to stand.

(MoPIRG)

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.

St. Louis Public Radio

Twenty years ago today, Metro St. Louis slid open the doors for the first ride on its new light rail system. Although the system was built on an existing freight line, the path to its existence was not clear or easy.

"Until the very day that it opened, people did not believe this system was going to exist," said Les Sterman, supervisor of the Southern Illinois Flood Prevention District and former executive director of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. He worked for years to make the MetroLink a reality.

St. Louis' MetroLink Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

Jul 26, 2013
File photo | Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Politicians and MetroLink officials celebrated the 20th anniversary of the light rail system Friday at its Grand station stop.

The light-rail system opened in 1993 with an investment of a little more than $460 million, with about 75 percent of that coming from the Federal Transit Authority.

Former Illinois Congressman Jerry Costello was instrumental in garnering the funds for creating the MetroLink. He said 20 years ago, nobody at the federal level thought it would be successful.

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

The mass transit agency Metro says buses and trains will run as usual for Fair St. Louis this week, despite the possibility of a labor strike.

Vice president of marketing and communications Dianne Williams says Metro is monitoring negotiations with its union, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788.

"We do expect to be able to serve Fair St. Louis this week," Williams said. "We will, if we're able, have extra services out on the street. We do every year for Fair St. Louis to accommodate the crowds."

Metro Transit Steps Up Security After Boston Attack

Apr 16, 2013
St. Louis Public Radio Staff / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Metro Transit is stepping up security after the recent terrorist attack in Boston that left three dead and more than 150 injured.

Richard Zott, Chief of Public Safety for Metro says the changes aren’t due to any specific threat.

“No, I just think it’s prudent," Zott said. "Anytime you have something like a major bombing in a city like that, I just think it’s a good idea to just increase your vigilance and your security procedures. I just like to err on the side of caution.”

He says he’s working with the city and county police departments.

binkle_28 / Flickr

This evening the East-West Gateway Council of Governments will host the beginning of a series of community meetings to gather feedback on plans to spur development near MetroLink Stops.

Britt Palmberg is with the consulting group that put a study on the issue, which focused on five stations.

He says the hope is to develop a framework that local stakeholders can use to kick start economic development.

St. Louis Public Radio

The regional planning agency East-West Gateway Council of Governments is asking the public what it wants to see in transit-oriented development around five MetroLink stations

Starting tonight, East-West Gateway will hold a series of open houses. A complete list of locations is below.

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

Starting this Monday morning Metro Transit is changing the way it handles ticket validation for MetroLink trains.

Here are three big things riders need to know about the new system.

First, vending machines won’t automatically print the expiration time on tickets or passes; you’ll have to do that separately.

Which leads to number two, the new system will make it much easier to buy tickets in advance and not use them right away.   

And Third, Metro Spokesperson Diane Williams says you really don’t want to forget to validate your ticket.

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