ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Bi-State Development plans to upgrade its MetroLink trains. Many of the existing ones are decades old.
The agency plans to spend around $150 million to get about 40 new MetroLink trains. Of that $150 million, 20 percent would come from local funds, and 80 percent would come from the federal government.
Taulby Roach, the president and CEO of Bi-State Development, said the new MetroLink trains would have a lot more amenities like Wi-Fi as well as new safety measures like better, enhanced, more modern security cameras.
“The initial order of those vehicles was nearly 30 years old, believe it or not, from the 1990s,” Roach said. “So just like any operation, we need to look at phasing in new purchases.”
Roach said the new train cars will complement the increased security measures on MetroLink. Bi-State is spending $53 million to close MetroLink platforms to all but ticket holders.
FOX 2 has been urging Bi-State to limit access to the platforms for years, even before the current CEO, but that advice has been ignored.
We even traveled to Atlanta to inspect the MARTA Transit System and show their turnstiles and security measures. However, it did not prompt Bi-State to act either.
Roach has changed his mind and is now in favor of restricting access to the platforms to just ticket holders, increasing security, and adding new trains.
Some passengers are taking notice.
“Now, I’m seeing more security more officers; it’s a lot less things going on now,” said Ariana Davis.
She said she thinks MetroLink is safer than before.
“Everyone wants a safe neighborhood. I run a transit neighborhood, and I want to make that it safe,” Roach said. “That means if we need to make those investments, we’re going to do it.”