CLAYTON, Mo. — The “You Paid For It” team has learned that the St. Louis County Council may be on the brink of approving the long-awaited $128 million for Bi-State, which has been held up for weeks.
The funds hit a roadblock a few weeks ago when the vote ended in a deadlock – three Democrats voted yes, and three Republicans voted no. This deadlock halted the measure that would greenlight Bi-State receiving the money from a special tax. The impasse created a significant challenge for Bi-State CEO Taulby Roach.
Roach expressed the urgency, stating, “It’s critical, about everyday people getting to their jobs and getting to medical appointments. Look, we have over 20 million rides a year on all different modes – whether it’s MetroLink, MetroBus, or Call a Ride service. We need to keep St. Louis moving. I need money to keep things moving, whether it’s a train, bus, or Call a Ride – we need money to get it done.”
St. Louis County Councilman Mark Harder, previously one of the three Republicans opposing the funding, is now on board with approving the money. He negotiated a deal over Call A Ride, emphasizing improvements to the system. Harder stated, “We identified deficiencies in the system. I think we helped both people and those who need Call a Ride assistance in this region better.”
Roach supports the changes, emphasizing their benefit to the public.
Now, the focus shifts to Bi-State securing its $128 million. Councilman Harder envisions a pathway to success, saying, “I hope it does. I’ve agreed to it. We’ll see if other council members agree to it. I believe they will, and we need to approve their budget, so they can move on.”