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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.