ST. LOUIS – Upgrades are coming soon to the St. Louis MetroLink experience. Metro Transit plan to roll out new MetroLink cars over the next several years.

The Federal Transit Administration has awarded Metro Transit with nearly $200 million in federal grant funding to replace aging MetroLink train cars.

The MetroLink service opened nearly three decades ago, still using its original train cars around the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County.

A news release from Metro Transit states “the original MetroLink train cars are reaching the end of their useful lives and are scheduled for replacement in the next several years.” Federal funding will help Metro Transit replace up to 48 light rail cars

“This successful grant award shows a unified legislative delegation, working together to benefit Missouri and Illinois. Additionally, the Federal Transit Administration has once again stepped forward to advance transit in the St. Louis region,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President and CEO.

Roach says the Metro gas been a strong economic asset to the St. Louis area over the last few decades.

“The regional economy is driven by public transit access to jobs, health care, and entertainment. This major award means our transit system will continue to move into the future with reliable, environmentally friendly, state of the art modern trains,” said Roach.

Metro Transit says the original cars have been well maintained, but recently passed their projected useful lives of 25 years in service. Some trains soon to be replaced have logged more than 1.7 million miles since they were activated.