Has Progress Stalled for a Safer Metro-Link System?

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Last week on KMOX, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger pointed his finger squarely at Metro – blaming them for lack of security. This week, a member of Metro’s board points his finger right back.

Metro Board Member Vince Schoemehl sounded frustrated with politicians while on the air with KMOX Host Charlie Brennan.

“The problem is, we were supposed to have a follow-up meeting last Wednesday and the meeting got cancelled,” Schoemehl says. “I spoke with some people over the weekend from the Mayor’s office, and there’s no follow-up meeting set up.”

He adds that this has been going on for weeks and months – it’s time for someone to do something about it.

Schoemehl stresses that Metro, and its parent organization Bi-State Development, is barred by law from creating its own police force.

He hopes that St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County finalize their own plans to beef up police presence along the light rail line. He also agrees it’s probably time to add turnstiles to the stations.

The safety issues seem to be having an impact. Schoemehl says MetroLink has lost 20 percent of its ridership in the last three years.

The light rail system has become a sort-of sanctuary for criminals, he says, because St. Louis County is arguing about the color of shirts that Metro security guards are allowed to wear. During 2016, Schoemehl says city officers only wrote five tickets to fare evaders.

Hear the entire interview below:

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