Concerns Over Future Funding As Metro Marks 20 Years
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – MetroLink trains have been criss-crossing the bi-state region for 20 years now, a milestone Metro Transit will celebrate later today.
Citizens for Modern Transit Director Kim Cella says the system has been a major asset, transporting 300 million riders since the first train rolled out of the station in the summer of 1993.
“We think that we have some room to grow with development around our system. We have 37 stations and unlike other cities, we haven’t really used those to the best of our advantage,” she says.
Cella expresses concern that unless a new and longer transportation bill is passed by Congress, funding for future expansion of the MetroLink system may be hard to come by.
“One of the biggest issues as we move forward is financing,” she says. “How do we do that? We’re looking at a state that is ranked 47th in the country in regards to funding of public transit so we’re going to have to think creatively and outside the box on how to move any kind of expansion in the St. Louis area forward.”
Cella says it would help greatly if the next transportation bill covered five years instead of two like the current one, to provide some financial stability for projects like MetroLink.
In the meantime, an anniversary celebration for Metro will happen this evening at the Three Sixty Rooftop Bar at the Ballpark Hilton.