What an exciting morning for transit in St. Louis! More than 125 people joined Citizens for Modern Transit for Transit: Enhancing the St. Louis Economy Panel Discussion at the BJC Learning Center.
“Every dollar that is invested in transit has a $4 return for this region. You may not ride transit for work or play. You may not know anyone who uses the system, but the St. Louis region needs transit. Not many other investments in this economic time have a 400% return. Missouri and Illinois need transit to create and sustain jobs in this region,” said Kim Cella, CMT Executive Director.
Panelists included Greg Patterson, Director of Real Estate at BJC Healthcare Systems; Rose Windmiller, Assistant Vice-Chancellor at Washington University; John Langa, Vice President of Economic Development at Metro; and David Morita; Vice President of Marketing at Metro. Don C. Musick, CMT Board Chair and President of DCM Development, moderated the event.
Patterson highlighted the CORTEX development in his remarks and the integral role a potential new MetroLink station at Boyle Ave. would play in moving employees and visitors to and from the site as well as serving as a catalyst for future development. Currently BJC Healthcare Systems has embraced transit internally with several programs including an employee subsidy program that has proven its success with highest ridership on the system at the CWE Station.
Windmiller added that Washington University views transit and its UPASS program and support of the system as a connection to the wider community. Transit is included in the long-term strategic plan at Washington University with a direct link to its four campuses.
Metro’s Vice-President of Economic Development John Langa outlined some of the opportunities along the alignment while Metro’s Vice-President of Marketing described some of the transit benefit programs that employers can adopt internally to enhance their bottomline.
Special thanks to the sponsors of this event including Fred Weber, Inc.; HOK; St. Louis RCGA; St. CLair County Transit District; The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis; and Webster University.