Throughout FY2018, transit was at the center of many regional discussions. The safety and security of the transit system remained at that the forefront, while details around expansion studies, investment/equity programming, a new service plan and the opening of the new MetroLink Station in the Cortex Innovation Community also created a lot of buzz. In addition, the East-West Gateway Board of Directors adopted a locally preferred alternative for the Northside-Southside corridor at their Aug. 29 meeting .
Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) understands the significance of public transit and has spent more than three decades advocating in support of a safe, integrated and affordable system for the St. Louis region. The organization represents more than 22,000 constituents, including transit riders, major employers, academic institutions and labor and community organizations. CMT is continually working to establish, support and enhance programming and initiatives to help move public transportation forward, and 2018 was no different. Other highlights of the fiscal year included:
- Opening of Cortex Station on July 31 – first public private partnership for Transit in region.
- Launch of the MPTA on Faces of Transit campaign; identifying riders across MO and their stories.
- Offering transit riders free, one-year access to the Smartphone app, Safetrek (now known as Noonlight).
- CMT secured funding to do a Transit Access Control Pilot at three stations – Forest Park, North Hanley and Fairview Heights.
- Expansion of the number of officers in the MetroLink Unit from 40 to 69, a 72 percent increase in a year.
- Expansion of patrols by St. Louis County Police and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Deputies to increase coverage of St. Louis City Stations.
- Initiation of an environmental design/security audit through East-West Gateway to lay the groundwork for determining the best technology to improve access control on the St. Louis system.
- Partnered with St. Louis Outfielder Tommy Pham to promote Safetrek and Transit.
- Secured $20,000 AARP Community Action Grant to host Metro Market at North Hanley MetroLink Station in partnership with AARP in St. Louis
- Management of Missouri Public Transit Association
- New partnership with St. Clair County Transit District to build transit ridership in Illinois
- Surpassed membership goal by 13 percent.
- Secured APTA Challenge Grant.
- New Program and Membership Manager on board.
It was a year marked by progress, and CMT looks forward to helping the region maintain this momentum.
As we head into FY2019, CMT will be focusing on three key areas of opportunity: working collaboratively to ensure the safety of the public on the system, rebuilding ridership numbers and maintaining financial stability for the organization. It will also be there as regional leaders prepare to make important decisions tied to the future of transit. With the support of members and riders, CMT will advocate for the identification of a priority expansion project along with the funding needed to make it a reality.