RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo, – St. Louis County residents are being asked for their input on how to improve MetroLink, which is currently limited but in high demand.
Following a recent streak of crime at MetroLink stations, safety has been a priority. Parts of increased safety options include real-time cameras, fencing, and adding a new kind of MetroLink that runs in the street like a trolley.
On Monday afternoon, St. Louis County and MetroLink officials held the first open house to gauge how to improve accessibility for residents, specifically in north St. Louis County, where transportation is limited.
According to a county survey with over 2,300 respondents, 10% of workers in those neighborhoods rely on transit, and over one-quarter of households don’t own a car.
“The one they have closest to me is not viable for me; it’s not usable, it’s not convenient, so I have to resort to traveling south,” said Jordan Wilson, a county resident. “Usually, I wake up early in the morning, and I travel about an hour to get to my bus stop.”
To help increase mobility, officials propose adding a line to connect to a new Jefferson Avenue alignment. The Jefferson Avenue alignment would travel along Jefferson Avenue from Chippewa Street in south St. Louis to Grand Boulevard and west to Natural Bridge in north St. Louis. This would connect riders to the existing red and blue MetroLink lines at a new transfer station near Jefferson Avenue.
Where exactly depends on public opinion in four different areas.
The most popular option is to connect Goodfellow-West Florissant.
“I think it would be more beneficial to have something that kind of cuts through Fairground Park and follows more Natural Bridge down and maybe up where Florissant to 270,” said Addie Schnurbasch, a county resident. “So I definitely think there are a couple that look good.”
A decision will be made by July, when the design phase will begin.
“The process is going to take some time because this is just the planning stages,” said Stephanie Leon Streeter, St. Louis County Director of Transit and Public Works. “We still have to move into design move into the federal transit authority process to get additional funding to build it out, so this is not something that’s going to happen overnight, but it begins here.”
There will be another open house meeting in the city Tuesday at 4 to 7p.m. to discuss the Jefferson Alignment. Another county meeting will happen occurred on May 31 from 4 to 7 p.m.