Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- A local group says there’s no use planning for light rail expansion, new trolley systems and other public transit upgrades in the St. Louis area if there’s no way to pay for it.

Citizens for Modern Transit director Kim Cella suggests it’s time to get creative, because the basic message from Jefferson City is the cupboard is bare, “We have next to nothing in statewide funding for public transit right now. We have a transit agency in the St. Louis area that has a $250 million plus budget, and they receive a little over $400,000 from the state of Missouri.”

That’s why Cella’s group is launching a  six-month-long study of “potential funding strategies” that will examine best practices used by other cities to cover the cost of expansion.

She says there’s a lot at stake, and points to studies that show Millennials will actually move to cities where the cost-of-living is higher, if those places have better public transit systems in place.

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