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St. Louis County Voters Approved Proposition A 5 years Ago Today

Five years ago today St. Louis County voters approved a tax increase to support public transit:

By a wide margin, county voters approved a half-cent increase to the transit sales tax to restore lost bus and Call-A-Ride service and, eventually, expand the reach of mass transit farther into the St. Louis suburbs. (Post-Dispatch)

This ballot victory triggered a previously-approved sales tax increase in the city. Attempts in 1997 & 2008 were rejected by St. Louis County voters.

The 57x I took to Town & Country stopping on Clayton Rd. between Woods Mill & Hwy 141
The 57x MetroBus on Clayton Rd. between Woods Mill & Hwy 141. Click image to view the 57X route & schedule
This image sums up how pedestrians are treated, The bus in the background is heading WB on Chambers.
The #61 MetroBus in the background is heading WB on Chambers at W. Florissant in Dellwood. Click the image to view the #61’s route & schedule.

After the fall 2008 defeat transit advocates approached the 2010 campaign differently, producing outstanding results:

The measure passed by a monstrous 24 point margin. The St. Louis Tea Party focused its energy on defeating the civic project, calling the campaign a test run for defeating Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections. So it’s a setback for them.

But it’s good news for those wanting to get around the St. Louis metro area. The “proposition A” measure will restore bus lines that had been de-funded, pay for more frequent buses, prevent future cuts, and, eventually, expand the reach of transit further into area suburbs.  (Grist)

The greatest support came from north county voters, the highest users of transit in the county.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    After 5 years, how well is the tax increase working? Metro restored some bus routes immediately after the increase passed, but there seems to be little real movement, now, to either expand Metrolink or to provide more bus service to new employment centers and new retail areas nor to provide better service along existing bus routes. The only real “improvements” (that I’m aware of) are the “new” (refurbished) articulated buses on a single route, along Grand, and the plans for a transit center/maintenance facility in north county. This may be good (enough?) for existing riders, but it won’t do much to attract new ones. And the biggest challenge I see, going forward, is that, regionally, Metro appears to be both becoming increasingly irrelevent and being perceived, more intensively, as serving just transit-dependent riders.

    For transit to be embraced by all citizens, it needs to be viewed as something that serves everyone, not just poor, minority riders. Unfortunately, the recent, widely-publicized, thug/gang incidents, both on and off Metrolink (along with the lack of intervention by either other riders or Metro’s “security” personnel) does nothing to change that image. On the Missouri side, Metro really should emulate what St. Clair County Transit District does, in Illinois, and provide Redbird Express service from places like Chesterfield and Oakville – http://www.scctd.org/Special_redbird%20express.html . . perception is reality, and giving white suburbanites something to like about public transit also gives them a reason to vote for more funding for public transit!

     

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