Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Daydream #380

Wouldn't it be great if the new Metro president could revolutionize the way Metro is structured for funding and to whom Metro is tasked with providing services to? A whole new philosophy for providing light rail and bus service to the metropolitan region.

By that I mean, a new strategy where Metro focuses on St. Louis and St. Clair County (the 2 regions that appear to value light rail and bus service). Remove St. Louis county from the overall funding and voting equation. The county voters have consistently voted down Metrolink light rail expansion and funding for Metro. Why not let the counties go to a fee for service where STL, St. Charles, Franklin, Jefferson counties would only get limited service from Metro and they would pay for it directly. All federal and state general funds would go directly to Metro who would in turn focus strictly on St. Louis City/Metro East light rail expansion and limited/focused/phased down bus service. Doesn't that make sense?

I think the county has made it clear that they do not value public transportation, so let's allow Metro to focus on those that do.

I'd like to see a comprehensive plan in my lifetime to immediately focus on connecting all parts of the city with light rail and scale back bus services. This only seems possible if we have a change in leadership and philosophies on the role of public transport in the metropolitan region. This only seems possible if we focus on St. Louis and the metro east. Let the sprawling regions pay for the services their people truly want. If St. Charles doesn't want buses and light rail, fine. If St. Louis county doesn't want it fine. Let them pick and choose who/where gets limited services. Maybe just a rush hour rapid bus service to the main employment pods would make more sense for those regions. Let the city operate 24/7 with the most expansive and comprehensive service. This would allow St. Louis to leverage itself as THE best public transit option and connected city in the region. This might draw those that value public transport to the city from the surrounding regions.

Metrolink is great at getting people to major entertainment attractions and institutions, we need to focus now on getting people to and from work and school via light rail and short walks.

Hey, I can dream can't I?


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  2. Although I understand your sentiments I would point out that county residents defeated the last Prop M 51.5% to 48.5%. This is hardly a mandate on what county voters think.

    There are liberals out here who would love to see a more viable mass transit system and voted for a tax increase despite the mismanagement of the south extension. So although people can apparently know a lot about me because of my brick ranch house I stand for Metro's expansion.

    Let me add however, that over 300 million of the 465 million of the initial phase of the Metrolink was paid for by the federal government.

  3. ^So you don't think a fee for service system would work in the suburbs?

  4. I'm not really sure how that would work. The county must know that mass transit is in everybody's best interest. I'll gladly pay the tax even though I've only used a bus in this city once in my entire life. It is a needed service.

  5. I'm just letting you know Bob Baer the head of Metro is from Sunset Hills. Hopefully, he can talk the naysayers into passing a new proposition in April.