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St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study: First Round of Open House Meetings Scheduled March 28, April 2, and April 5

The following is a press release:


Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) announced the first round of public open houses focusing on a new St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study scheduled for March 28, April 2 and April 5. The study is another step toward fulfilling Metro’s long-term goal of offering efficient, competitive and attractive transit services to more residents and more places in the St. Louis region.

The study, led by the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) and the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group, will identify two transit investment projects to move forward in pursuit of federal funding. It is anticipated at least one project will be implemented as a result of this effort.

The St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study is a direct result of Moving Transit Forward, the long-range transit plan that highlighted the potential of using the region’s existing network of highways and major streets to provide higher-speed, limited-stop transit services. The general transportation corridors identified by the public as significant opportunities for high-performance transit are Interstates 70, 44, 64, and 55, major streets near those highways, and Grand Boulevard in St. Louis.

“By improving the connections between people and jobs, education, and other opportunities, we can maximize the potential not only of our transportation network, but of our residents and businesses as well,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, Metro Chief of Planning and System Development.

The study takes a data-driven approach to identify and evaluate potential projects. Final recommendations will be shaped by several objectives, including improved access to transportation that supports economic growth; expansion of access to opportunities; enhanced employer access to a broader and more diverse labor pool; reduction of traffic congestion and air pollution; and financial feasibility.

The partners leading the St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study will answer questions and encourage discussion at the three upcoming public meetings. The meetings will be conducted in open-house style, with the attendees invited to participate in interactive activities designed to gather community input on project goals and transit performance criteria. Residents will also learn about the range of possible options for expanding cost-effective rapid transit service in St. Louis.

The same information will be presented at each of the public open houses.

· Thursday, March 28 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Located at the JC Penney Conference Center at the UMSL Campus. The meeting will be in the 1st Floor Lobby of the building located at 1 University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63121.

· Tuesday, April 2 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at 5:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Located at the World Trade Center on the 10th Floor. The building is located at 121 S. Meramec Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105.

· Friday, April 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A formal presentation will be made at noon. Located at St. Louis City Hall on the 2nd Floor Hall and in the Kennedy Room. City Hall is located at 1200 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103.

More information and futures updates on the St. Louis Rapid Connector Study can be found at www.movingtransitforward.org/stlrapidtransit.

About the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group

The St. Louis Rapid Transit Connector Study is being conducted by the Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) in partnership with the Transportation Corridor Improvement Group, a partnership between East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCOG), St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).


Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. JB says:

    I wonder of streetcars could be considered for some of these corridors, specifically Grand Ave. What if the community said they preferred a a streetcar over BRT? Would Metro be forced to try and make it happen?

    • JZ71 says:

      Potentially. In reality, the specific type of vehicle is secondary, it really boils down to the quality of service and the frequency of service. Ideally, Metro and its consultants will recommend the best solution for each corridor, not one based on preconceptions.

      • When the goal is just about moving people you’re right, frequency becomes the main Factor. Where economic development is a goal, the mode becomes a primary factor along with frequency.

        • JZ71 says:

          Agree . . . and that’s our fundamental disagreement – is public transit, first and foremost, a development tool or a way to move people? One benefits from the other, but how it’s implemented is informed by the chosen, primary goal.

          • Historically rail transit was used as a development tool. Later, established streetcar routes were replaced with rubber tire busses. By then the goal was just to move people along developed routes. When development is the goal the bus isn’t the right tool for the job.

          • JZ71 says:

            Agree. The question then becomes one of who should lead when it comes to development? Developers or the public transit system? Developers, for the most part, see little or no need for any sort of public transit, while public transit systems don’t have the resources to fully serve current demands, improve service on existing routes, much less invest in creating new demand and/or investing in speculative ventures.

            The biggest problem I see, with both the Loop Trolley and the latest streetcar study is that they seem to be coming from the developer side of the equation. They may (and probably will) attract more development, in the short term, than a bus line would, but will they be both sustainable and integrated into the larger Metro SYSTEM? I expect Metro to deliver service equitably, across its service area, and not to concentrate its limited capital dollars in a few corridors where the primary goal is (re)development.

          • The Loop Trolley is being designed as a totally separate system from Metro, the St. Louis Streetcar is being designed as an integral part of Metro.
            Remember no public transit agency existed in 1913.

          • JZ71 says:

            There’s a difference between participating and leading. Metro is leading the Rapid Transit Connector Study (as it should), and has involved multiple public scoping meetings and is focused on addressing missing links in the transit network. The latest streetcar feasibility study is being led by the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, and its 17-member steering committee includes only two Metro staff members. It’s been developed behind closed doors, replicates existing transit investments and presumes that a modern streetcar is the best solution (executive summary, page 5, and public engagement, page 12, http://www.downtownstl.org/docs/StreetcarFeasDraftStudy.pdf . . .)

            Like I’ve said, I view transit’s primary mission is to move people. You (and others) apparently believe that transit’s primary mission should be guiding and supporting development – I simply disagree. Yes, “no public transit agency existed in 1913”. In 2013, much as in 1913, if a private developer wants to invest in streetcar system, paying a franchise fee to the city for using the public right-of-way, yeah, go for it. But expecting taxpayers here to foot the bill for the latest toy, just because it “worked in Portland”, absent the same development environment and public acceptance of public transit, seems to be misplacing priorities and grasping at the latest “great idea” (much like how building malls in urban areas would keep retail vibrant).

          • Bi-State/Metro didn’t lead the effort to build MetroLink either…

    • Scott Jones says:

      Streetcars and BRT serve different needs. One is for local transit, the other is for longer-distance transit. Streetcars and local buses serve roughly the same purposes (local) while light-rail/subways/commuter-rail and BRT serve the other (long-distance).


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